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Gold Coast Tongue Tie Clinic

At Gold Coast Tongue Tie Clinic we offer laser tongue and lip tie releases for all ages, from infants with feeding difficulties, to children with speech and jaw growth problems, all the way through to adults with head and neck tension and snoring. On certain days of the week we have dedicated infant tongue and lip tie clinics. We are passionate about correcting this common problem as early as possible in life.

So What Exactly is a Tongue or Lip Tie?

It is a congenital abnormality which decreases the mobility of the tongue or lip. The frenum (the bit that causes the tie) is a normal part of anatomy, but it can be too thick, too short, or attached in the wrong place. Defective frenums lead to a restriction in the range of motion of the tongue or lip.

What are Common Symptoms of Tongue and Lip Ties?

There are many symptoms which you might be surprised to learn are related to this problem. Symptoms are not just evident during early infancy and childhood. Our tongue functions throughout life and so some symptoms can continue in the long term.

The wheel below shows the most common related symptoms. Please note that a tongue tie can affect the individual throughout life. Good tongue function is not just for breastfeeding, and lack of functional breastfeeding can lead to crooked teeth. Other symptoms can range from snoring to getting tired during speaking and eating, to head and neck pains and postural issues.

To download research showing how breastfeeding reduces the chance of crooked teeth click the PDF link below:

Breastfeeding and Malocclusion (28 KB)

How is Tongue and Lip Tie Diagnosed?

Tongue or lip ties present in many different shapes and forms. It is essential that whoever is diagnosing the tie has been well trained in looking for them. Dr Dan Hanson, one of Gold Coast Tongue Tie Clinic’s founders is also co-founder of the Tongue Tie Institute. This organisation assists with training of dentists, doctors, manual therapists, lactation consultants, mid-wives and other professionals involved in diagnosis and treatment of Oral Restrictions.

A thorough visual examination as well as complete investigation of the functional challenges, symptoms and manual palpation examination of the mouth are all necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

How is it corrected at Gold Coast Tongue Tie Clinic?

A tongue or lip tie release, sometimes called a frenectomy is performed using a medical laser. If the patient is a baby, diagnosis is done in conjunction with a lactation consultant, or midwife. We require you to have an appointment and get a referral from one of these professionals before we perform any surgery. Please contact one from our list of tongue tie educated Lactation Consultants and Midwives

We will also have an LC or a midwife present during your consultation and surgery appointment with us to assist with the process before and after surgery. It is a quick procedure, performed in the dental chair. However, there is an extensive consultation prior to the procedure.

At Gold Coast Tongue Tie Clinic, we pride ourselves in treating our guests as effectively as possible. For that reason we work closely with local body workers, such as chiropractors, and osteopaths in order to help release tension in the head and neck region, before and after the surgery. This interdisciplinary approach helps to ensure that a whole body approach is taken. The tongue and lip muscles are not isolated structures, and so dysfunction within them usually leads to compensatory actions elsewhere in the head and neck region.

What to do if you suspect a tie

If the patient is under 24 months old

IMPORTANT:

If the patient is under 24 months old you will need a referral from a Lactation Consultant or Midwife before any surgery. If you are not breastfeeding we still require this. They will be your support person to assist with preparation for your appointment as well as to assist with the feeding and muscle rehabilitation after surgery.

Step 1: Arrange a consultation with your chosen Lactation Consultant or Midwife. See our list of tongue tie educated professionals here

Step 2 (a): If you would like to book an initial consultation with possible surgery on the same day, call Heal Dental Care Burleigh. Please ensure we have been sent the referral in advance of your appointment. Call (07) 5520 1324

Step 2 (b): If you want just a consultation without surgery on the same day please book at The Myofunctional Space Byron Bay. Please note that we will not have a Lactation Consultant present for this consultation, and if you don’t already have a referral to us from one, we will need to refer you to one in the event that we plan to perform tongue or lip tie surgery. Call (02) 6685 6445

Step 3: Our receptionists will provide you will all the information you need for your circumstances

If the patient is over 24 months old

If the patient is over 24 months old we will not perform surgery on the same day as your initial consultation appointment. There will be a process of using Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (facial muscle training) for a minimum of 4 weeks before and after the surgery. After your consultation we will book you into the correct program for your age and circumstances. 

If the patient is under age 10 years old and has jaw growth problems and / or crooked teeth, we will also offer you options to correct such issues alongside your tongue tie treatment. Tongue Tie is highly related to having narrow jaws and crooked teeth.

Step 1: Arrange a tongue (or lip) tie consultation with us at The Myofunctional Space Byron Bay. Call (02) 6685 6445

Step 2: During your consultation we will provide you with various options. For example – to either just address the tongue (or lip) tie with Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) and surgery, or to combine this with a myofunctional orthodontic program to grow the jaws and help straighten the teeth.

Step 3: 4 weeks OMT prehabilitation before surgery. This will be carried out at The Myofunctional Space Byron Bay

Step 4: The day of surgery. This will be carried out at  Heal Dental Care Burleigh

Step 5: 4 weeks OMT rehabilitation after surgery. This will be carried out at The Myofunctional Space Byron Bay

How successful is the treatment?

Providing there is thorough removal of the restrictive attachment, many of the challenges with proper feeding (for infants) can be reduced in the vast majority of cases, providing our post operative instructions are fully adhered to. These instructions include:

  • seeing a body worker (chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist)
  • post-operative stretches to help reduce chances of re-attachment
  • myofunctional exercises before and after the procedure (for children and adults)
  • keeping in close contact with a lactation consultant (for babies)

Research suggests that releasing the tongue tie can improve muscle function

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Frenulectomy and Muscle Activity (117 KB)

Further research indicates that tongue tie adversely affects breastfeeding and that release of the restriction can help with breastfeeding

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Difficulty (45 KB)

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Tongue Tie Release Can Help Breastfeeding (52 KB)

How does the laser remove the restriction?

Laser surgery allows a layer by layer, thorough removal of the attachment of lip and/or tongue tie.It is a relatively quick and straightforward process, not requiring general anaesthetics, sutures or oral medications.

Lasers are an excellent alternative to scissors or a scalpel as a means to alter soft tissue. In laser terms the tissue is “ablated”. Light energy is used to remove tissue rather than cutting with scissors or scalpels.

Are there advantages to using a laser?

  • laser is bactericidal (kills bacteria as it ablates)
  • reduces oedema, swelling and inflammation
  • may allow for better healing through the concept of photobiomodulation

An important factor in success is the skill and experience of the operator. Our Tongue and Lip Tie Clinic, is a big part of what we do. Our operators generally work on anything between 3 and 10 tongue and lip ties each week, with Dr Dan doing 10 to 15 procedures. Therefore, it is a procedure that we are used to doing frequently. We are passionate about excellency in all areas of our work.

To read more about infant tongue tie treatments click here