Infants can be born with a tongue tie or a lip tie. This occurs during the development of the structures of the mouth and is easily corrected by pediatric dentists. Parents in and from SilverdaleKingston WABelfair WAPoulsbo WA, Bremerton, Port OrchardPort Townsend WA, Bainbridge Island, Gig Harbor and North Kitsap. may notice a range of signs that indicate their infant may have one of these very common issues.

Understanding the Basics

During growth, the fetus goes through several changes, including a change in the frenum in the mouth. In early development, a tissue cord runs through the center of the mouth, serving to keep the mouth in the correct position. As the fetus develops, this thick cord thins out and recedes, resulting in the very thin tissue you can see under the tongue and inside the center lower lip.

Approximately four to ten percent of all newborns will not have this thinning and receding, leaving the tongue and/or the lip still connected to that cord. This limits the ability of the infant to breastfeed or to create the necessary motion and sucking movements needed to feed. Infants with a tongue tie or lip tie can also have increased problems with colic and reflux, and they may have reduced weight gain despite seeming to feed frequently.

If not treated, tongue tie and lip tie can result in difficulties as the infant ages. Lack of mobility of the tongue and lips can lead to speech problems, eating, chewing, and swallowing difficulties, and increased dental problems.


Your pediatric dentist in Silverdale, Bremerton, Belfair, Kingston, and Port Orchard, WA, can correct a tongue tie or a lip tie using a laser or an in-office surgical procedure. The laser treatment only takes one to two minutes, offers a minimally invasive option, and corrects the problem to allow the infant, older child, or even untreated adult to undergo the procedure with limited or no pain. Surgical scissors or a “snip” is sometimes performed in place of the laser in unique situations.

Dentistry for Children provides tongue tie and lip tie frenectomy procedures for patients in Silverdale, Bremerton, Belfair, Kingston, and Port Orchard, WA. To find out more, see us online at