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Tongue Tied Specialist

Tysons Laser Center Dentistry

Kris Popli, DDS

Cosmetic & Family Dentistry located in Tysons Corner, VA

Researchers estimate that between 3 and 5% of infants are born with tongue-tie. Though common, without intervention and treatment, tongue-tie can affect your child’s ability to speak or breastfeed. At Tysons Laser Center Dentistry, experienced cosmetic and general dentist Kris Popli, DDS, and the team use laser dentistry to safely treat tongue-tie. To make an appointment for your child at the practice in Tysons Corner, Virginia, call the office or schedule online today.

Tongue Tied Q & A

What is tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie is a condition that many children are born with. It’s characterized by an unusually short or tight lingual frenulum –– the piece of tissue that connects your tongue to the floor of the mouth.

Children who have tongue-tie are more likely to experience difficulties chewing, speaking, and eating. As a result, it’s important to intervene and treat the issue early on.

What are the symptoms of tongue-tie?

Common symptoms of tongue-tie include:

  • Difficulty lifting the tongue
  • Difficulty moving the tongue from side to side
  • Trouble sticking out the tongue, beyond the front teeth
  • A tongue that appears notched or heart-shaped

If your child experiences any of these issues, make an appointment with Dr. Popli and the team as soon as possible.

What causes tongue-tie?

Usually, the lingual frenulum releases in the womb before birth, providing the tongue with a full range of motion. In children with tongue-tie, the frenulum remains attached to the floor of the mouth. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why this occurs, but it’s thought that certain genetic factors may contribute.

Does tongue-tie increase my child’s risk of complications?

Yes. Children with tongue-tie are more likely to experience:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • Speech difficulties
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Difficulty licking 

If tongue-tie isn’t treated early, it can also affect your child’s ability to play a wind instrument or participate in activities that require speech, like debate.

How is tongue-tie diagnosed?

To diagnose tongue-tie, Dr. Popli conducts a comprehensive oral exam. During the exam, he evaluates the shape, position, and movement of your child’s tongue. If necessary, he might also order oral X-rays. 

How is tongue-tie treated?

Dr. Popli and his team use laser dentistry to treat tongue-tie. Specifically, they perform a procedure called a frenotomy. 

During a frenotomy, Dr. Popli uses a specialized dental laser to release the frenulum from the floor of your child’s mouth. The process is quick, pain-free, and requires little recovery time. Immediately following the procedure, it’s okay for your child to breastfeed. 

If your child’s lingual frenulum is too thick for a frenotomy, Dr. Popli might recommend a frenuloplasty. A frenuloplasty is very similar. The main difference is that this procedure is a little more invasive and often requires one or two sutures to ensure a speedy recovery.

To book a tongue-tie evaluation for your child at Tysons Laser Center Dentistry, call the office or schedule online today.