St. Joseph Dentistry Pediatric Dentist, Matthew Bernard, DMD, and his Pediatric Dental team now offer the latest, state-of-the-art cheek-tie, lip-tie, and tongue-tie corrective treatment. Using a special laser, Dr. Bernard is able to remove the obstructive tissue quickly and precisely, with minimal bleeding, swelling or discomfort for you or your child. That means a shorter surgery and faster recovery time. The sanitizing effect of the FDA approved laser is clinically proven to reduce the risk of infection and scarring, so patients can resume normal activities almost immediately!



Tongue-tie and lip-tie corrective treatment at St. Joseph Dentistry


Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is a tongue, lip, or cheek tie?
  • These are restricted soft tissue (frenula) in the mouth. These tethered tissues impact function, growth and development of the jaws, mouth, teeth and airway.
  • What are some issues that could arise from tongue, lip, or cheek ties?
  • Infants can experience painful breastfeeding, difficulty breast or bottle feeding, reflux or colic symptoms, poor sleeping, and/or failure to thrive.
  • Toddlers, Children & Adolescents may experience difficulty swallowing solid foods, speech/articulation disorders, orthodontic issues, as well as possible sleep and breathing problems.
  • Adults often present due to snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, neck tension, TMJ pain and dysfunction, and headaches.
  • Will my child grow out of a tongue, lip, or cheek tie?
  • Unfortunately, no. Current and ongoing research and experience have shown that these restricted frenula tissues grow with the child and often impact function and growth and development.
  • Can we stretch these tissues out?
  • Published research has shown that the tie can only be stretched to about 3%. This is due to the collagen type found in these tissues which is similar in comparison to a tendon or ligament which can only be stretched a very small amount.
  • Will my child require sedation or general anesthesia?
  • No.

A buccal or cheek-tie is a restricted frenulum that connects the cheek to the gums. These can restrict the function of the cheeks and lips that are needed for feeding and/or speech. They have also been shown to cause issues with gum recession and orthodontic problems.

A lip tie is when the maxillary (upper) or mandibular (lower) labial frenulum tissue that connects the lip to the gums is tight and restrictive to both function and form. In infants, it may prevent flanging of the lips to ensure an adequate seal around the nipple, in many instances, this can break the latch or allow babies to suck and swallow air and develop symptoms of reflux or colic. As teeth erupt it may cause excessive gaps or diastema and lead to orthodontic issues and dental decay. They also may lead to speech and articulation issues where lip mobility is impaired, such as difficulties with letters ‘b, f, m, p, v’ amongst others.

A tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the frenulum or attachment of the undersurface of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is tight and restricts function. It is a very common cause of painful or difficult breastfeeding in infants.  Many infants have disorganized swallowing and do more ‘gulping’, have higher rates of reflux and colic symptoms, fatigue quickly, and are constantly hungry from poor transfer of milk.  Difficulties may be present with bottle feeding as well. Untreated tongue-tie can often lead to many problems as children grow and develop.

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    3386 Niles Rd.

    St. Joseph MI 49085


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