From Recovery to Insurance, We Answer Your Main Questions About Laser Frenectomy (Non-Surgical Tongue-Tie Treatments)

Ankyloglossia, commonly referred to as a tongue-tie, is an oral condition that is present at birth and hinders the tongue’s natural range of motion. Typically, a thick, short and tight band of tissue, the lingual frenulum, attaches the skin beneath the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. 

Because of this condition, breastfeeding might become tricky as the baby is unable to open its mouth wide enough to properly latch on. Likewise, swallowing, speaking and lifting the tongue to perform any movement may also become difficult. 

This phenomenon is more common than you might think with about 4 to 11% of babies being born with a tongue-tie. 

At Gep TOTs Dentistry, our team diagnoses and treats, infants, children and adults with tethered oral tissues that include tongue- and lip-ties. 

Dr. Phu-My Gep is experienced and certified in this field and has successfully performed countless tongue-tie treatment without surgery at the Gep Vaughan clinic. Using medically-safe lasers, this treatment has quick healing times and less post-operative pain. 


  1. How can you tell if a baby has a tongue-tie?

A tongue-tie might not always be easy to spot. Usually, this condition becomes evident when the infant experiences feeding problems. Some common signs of a tongue-tie include;

  • Difficulty latching onto the breast or staying attached during feeding
  • Not gaining weight as quickly as expected
  • Emitting a clicking noise while feeding
  • Difficulty moving the tongue from side to side or lifting it
  • Difficulty sticking the tongue out
  • The tongue has a notched or heart-shape when stuck out


  1. Does a tongue-tie correct itself? 

There are a few instances where a tongue-tie can improve without treatment by the age of 2 or 3 years. Moreover, there are cases where a baby with a tongue-tie may not be affected by it at all. In most cases, however, treatment is required to address the condition and ensure the infant doesn’t develop speech problems or lose on nutrition due to being unable to breastfeed properly. 

When left untreated, this condition can be a source of frustration for you and your baby. The earlier a tongue-tie is corrected, the easier it will be moving forward. 


  1. Can a tongue-tie be fixed in older children and adults?

Absolutely! A lot of patients are older children and adults who undergo a Frenectomy to correct a tongue- or lip-tie. 

Untreated tongue-ties cause problems as the tightness in the mouth area may intensify as the person develops. If the tongue-tie is severe enough to stunt one’s speech, speech therapy may also be recommended following the Frenectomy treatment. 


  1. What is a laser Frenectomy?

A laser Frenectomy, also known as a Frenulectomy, Frenotomy or tongue-tie release treatment, involves the use of a laser to excise the frenulum which, as discussed, is the small and thick fold of tissue that restricts the natural range of motion of the tongue. 

Soft tissue lasers are ideal for cutting and coagulating the tissue during treatment. With soft laser treatments, usually, no anesthesia is required and it involves less bleeding and pain than using scissors. That way, your baby is not put through unnecessary discomfort. 

The soft tissue procedure is simple enough and your infant is able to return home as soon as it is completed. The lasers are expertly designed to emit a therapeutic light that is naturally absorbed by the body. 


  1. How long does it take to recover from a laser Frenectomy?

After the procedure, a mother may be advised to breastfeed immediately as that helps calm the baby. With soft tissue lasers, pain and bleeding, if any, is kept to a minimum. 

If you opt for other treatment measures, general anesthesia may be used and healing times can go up to 10 days. 

Laser Frenectomy, on the other hand, requires no anesthesia and the treatment takes a couple of minutes. Healing typically occurs within 2 hours. 


  1. Does a laser Frenectomy hurt?

The frenulum is very thin and has a few nerves, this means that there is little to no pain associated with these types of treatments. With soft tissue lasers, specifically, the treatments are near painless.

Apart from destroying bacteria, this healing laser also promotes tissue regeneration and is, hence, completely safe for your baby. The laser cauterizes the wound as it works, reducing the chance of a bacterial infection. 


  1. Can you eat after a laser Frenectomy?

Surgical treatments use general anesthesia which is why doctors recommend not eating or drinking until the anesthesia has worn off. 

With a laser treatment, no anesthesia is required. In many cases, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed right after the treatment so as to calm the baby. 

According to The Journal of Human Lactation, about 80% of infants were feeding better within 24 hours of undergoing a Frenectomy. 

For older children and adults, it’s recommended to avoid spicy, salty, very hot or cold foods or crunchy foods that can interfere with the treated area for at least 24 hours after the treatment. 


  1. Can a tongue-tie grow back?

After undergoing a Frenectomy, a tongue-tie cannot “grow back” per se, but it is advisable to keep up with the post-treatment exercises recommended by your doctor and attend all follow-up visits. 


  1. How much does a laser tongue-tie surgery cost?

Drawing broad strokes, a laser Frenectomy can range between $800 to $2,800 depending on the experience of the doctor, the reputation of the clinic and the specifics of the condition itself. 

At Gep TOTs, our priority is to make treatments affordable and accessible while performing under the highest standards of medical excellence. 

Don’t let a tongue-tie go undiagnosed and untreated. We encourage you to get in touch with us today for a consultation.  


  1. Is a laser Frenectomy covered by insurance?

OHIP doesn’t cover the cost of a tongue-tie surgery in Ontario, however it could be an eligible expense though your dental plan. 

This depends on the insurance provider. A handful of dental providers do allow you to bill dental insurance plans so that you receive coverage.

This is because a Frenectomy could be regarded by some medical insurance companies as “medically necessary” in order to overcome the symptoms of a tongue-tie such as difficulty breastfeeding, speech impairments, and articulation problems. 

Regardless, don’t assume anything. It’s safest to check with your provider before making a decision. 


Gep TOTs Performs Safe and Affordable Tongue-Tie Releases

If you suspect you or your child has a tongue-tie or a health professional has suggested that your child has a tongue-tie, Dr. Gep can help!

Dr. Phu-My Gep at Gep TOTs Dental Group is experienced and certified to treat this condition. Dr. Gep is trained in using medical lasers to assist in quicker healing times and less post-operative pain. 

Get the professional advice you need and, rest assured, you are in good hands with Dr. Gep.

If your child has been diagnosed with a tongue-tie, a medical procedure known as a Frenectomy may be required to treat the condition. This is a simple treatment involving the use of a laser to surgically cut the frenulum and remove the tongue-tie. 

Laser Tots offers posterior tongue treatment services in Vaughan to help correct this condition. 

Although the surgery is safe and pain will be minimal, medical procedures can be scary for young children. Let’s examine some things you can do to effectively prepare for your child’s treatment.  


What Happens During a Frenectomy?

A Frenectomy is a quick and painless procedure in which a soft tissue laser is used to cut the piece of tissue that is connecting your child’s tongue to the bottom of the mouth. 

The laser effectively “vaporizes” the soft tissue, freeing up the tongue for a full range of movement. The laser itself also prevents bleeding by immediately cauterizing the tissue as well as eliminating bacteria in the area.

The procedure is very simple and you will be able to take your child home as soon as it is completed. A followup appointment will be scheduled by your doctor. 


Ask Your Doctor About Medication

A Frenectomy, using a soft tissue dental laser, usually does not require the child to take any medication beforehand and causes the child minimal pain. The laser itself has analgesic properties, reducing discomfort during the procedure; many children are able to sleep through it. 

However, every child reacts differently and it is a good idea to ask your doctor about having medication on hand in the event that your child experiences discomfort after the procedure. 

Some parents opt for homeopathic remedies or commercial products such as children’s Tylenol. The best course of action is to consult with your doctor before administering any medication to your child pre- or post-treatment. 


Mouth Exercises

A tongue-tie can lead to weak sucking patterns and difficulty feeding. You can help improve your child’s food intake using sucking exercises starting from when your child is diagnosed with tongue-tie, and you can do them up to four times each day prior to the procedure. Follow these easy steps:

– Carefully rub the lower gumline from one side to the other and allow your baby’s tongue to follow your fingers. This helps strengthen the tongue’s lateral movement.

– Guide your child to suck on your finger and slowly extract your finger while they attempt to suck it back in. This helps strengthen the tongue. 

– Guide your child to suck on your finger and gently apply pressure on the palate. When the baby begins sucking on your finger, carefully start pressing down with the back of your nail against the tongue. This will interrupt the sucking motion while the child pushes against you. Listen for a sound and then put your finger back up into the palate to re-stimulate sucking. Repeat as tolerated.

– Put one index finger inside the baby’s cheek and, with your thumb on the outside of the cheek, massage it on either side to reduce tension.


Consult Your Doctor About Special Preparation Methods

Each child is different and hence, each child’s healthcare needs are different. Your child’s healthcare provider understands their needs the best, it is always important to consult them prior to undergoing any medical procedures. They will be able to tell you how to best prepare your child for the upcoming procedure.

Make sure to always check with your child’s physician to ensure that they are adequately prepared and there are no special circumstances or actions required before the procedure.


Gep TOTs is Experienced in Safely Treating Tongue-Ties

Dr. Phu-My Gep at Gep TOTs Dental Group is experienced and certified to treat this condition. Dr. Gep is trained in using medical lasers to assist in quicker healing times and less post-operative pain. 

Time is of the essence! Contact us to set up an appointment today and get your child’s tongue-tie corrected.

Being “tongue-tied” is more than just a playful expression – it’s a real medical condition that can cause discomfort and pain to your toddler as well as making breastfeeding difficult.

At Gep TOTS, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating infants, children, adolescents and even adults with tethered oral issues. Our clinic is located in Vaughan, and we perform laser release of tongue and lip ties, keeping bleeding and downtime to a minimum.

To treat this condition, we must first understand it. Let’s take a closer look at how it can affect your toddler and how you can help your child.  


What Is A Tongue-Tie?

Ankyloglossia, otherwise known as a tongue-tie, is a condition that occurs at birth and hinders a toddler’s ability to feed. It is caused by an inadequate connection between the tongue and the lower mouth area. Underneath the tongue is a small strip of tissue called the frenulum, which connects the tip of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. In some toddlers, the frenulum is inadequate-it can be too short, too tight or too thick.

This condition restricts the movement of the tongue and can result in difficulty feeding as the toddler is unable to effectively grab onto a food source. Tongue ties can vary in severity, ranging from so slight they are difficult to notice or quite obvious to the point that the child’s tongue cannot move at all.

In addition, a similar condition exists called a lip-tie. This condition is related because it also stems from the frenulum-it results when the frenulum is much thicker or stiffer than normal, and results in difficulty moving the upper lip. 

There are different types of tongue ties, and it is recommended to consult your doctor for more information. 


 What Are The Symptoms of A Tongue-Tie?

Tongue ties are often diagnosed when children experience difficulty in feeding and sucking. Inefficient sucking or lack of a good seal during nursing can cause an infant to take in air causing gagging, choking, gassiness and reflux. Left untreated it can also lead to speech delay and/or articulation. A tongue held down for extended periods of time may result in increased mouth breathing and sleep apnea.

Symptoms of these conditions can be broken up into two groups: symptoms experienced by the infant and symptoms experienced by the mother. 


The child’s symptoms:

– Difficulty latching onto the mother’s breast during feeding

– Child may make clicking or sucking noises

– Difficulty breathing during feeding

– Feeding for abnormally long periods (the child is not receiving enough milk)

– Weight loss or delayed weight gain

– Gassiness and/or reflux

– Becoming frustrated or agitated during feeding

– Becoming fatigued or falling asleep during feeding


The mother’s symptoms :

– Nursing fatigue

– Less milk production

– Soreness of the nipple during or after breastfeeding


What Can I Do To Help My Toddler? 

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, or your child is experiencing difficulty feeding, it is important to consult your child’s doctor as soon as possible. They can provide you with more information on the type of tongue tie your child is experiencing and the type of treatment best suited to relieve your toddler’s symptoms.

In terms of addressing the tongue tie, soft tissue dental lasers are a treatment tool for most children-some children do not require anesthesia and result in less pain and bleeding for the child because the laser cuts by vapourizing the tissue. It is a simple procedure that emits therapeutic light to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote healthy tissue regeneration, reducing the likelihood of infection and freeing your child’s tongue for a full range of movement. 

Gep TOTS is a trusted dental clinic in Vaughan that is experienced in using a soft tissue dental laser to correct this condition quickly with minimal discomfort for your child and fast recovery times!


Can A Tongue-Tie Affect My Toddler’s Speech Development?

Tongue ties can be a serious problem for young children, especially when it comes to feeding. The good news, however, is that medical professionals do not believe that a tongue-tie will interfere with your child’s speech development and their ability to learn and understand speech.

However, because a tongue-tie inhibits movement of the tongue, it can cause issues with speech articulation in children as they try to produce and mimic sounds. These can also include issues licking the lips, being unable to stick out the tongue or keeping the teeth clean. Having this issue corrected will allow your child to experience a full array of tongue movement and allow them to articulate speech perfectly, as well as perform other important oral functions. 


Don’t let your child suffer from the discomfort that comes with a tongue-tie. If you suspect your child may be experiencing this issue; Contact our team today at (647) 492-7059 and help your child live pain-free! 

If you’ve noticed your toddler struggling to breastfeed or making a clicking noise while nursing, they may suffer from a condition known as tongue or lip ties. 

What is a tongue tie? A tongue tie is a condition that occurs at birth and hinders the free range of motion of the tongue. It is caused by a short, tight or thick strip of tissue, the frenulum, that ties the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the bottom of the mouth. 

What is a lip tie? A lip tie occurs when a piece of tissue, known as the frenulum, behind the upper lip is too stiff or thick to the point where they restrict the free mobility of the lip. 

Gep TOTS is a trusted dental clinic in Vaughan with highly trained doctors who specialize in upper lip tie treatments for toddlers and tongue tie releases without surgery. We use a soft tissue dental laser to correct this condition quickly with minimal discomfort for your child and fast recovery times!


Symptoms of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

You will notice certain unmistakable symptoms that point to these conditions. If so, approach a professional dental clinic quickly to avoid further discomfort for your child. 


For the Baby

  • Struggling to latch onto the breast
  • Difficulty drawing breath when nursing
  • Emitting a clicking noise when nursing
  • Falling asleep when nursing
  • Becoming fatigued by nursing
  • Very gradually gaining weight or not gaining weight
  • Colic symptoms


For the Mother

  • Inexplicable soreness during or after breastfeeding
  • Enlarged breasts after breastfeeding
  • Clogged milk ducts
  • Fatigue from nursing as your toddler doesn’t seem to have its fill


Types of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

These conditions can manifest in a couple of different ways. 

Anterior Tongue Tie

The lingual frenulum attaches the underneath of the tongue’s tip to the base of the mouth causing decreased mobility in the tip of the tongue. 

Posterior Tongue Tie

The tongue is concealed by the mucous lining of the mouth. This type of tie is not visible but you can feel it by running your finger against the underside of the tongue. 

Lip Tie

The maxillary connects the middle-upper lip to the gums, interfering with mobility and reducing the use of the upper lip. 

Combination Tongue and Lip Tie

This is characterized by a combination of maxillary and lingual or posterior tongue ties, presenting obstacles when breastfeeding. 


Diagnosis of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

Any baby who is experiencing breastfeeding issues should be taken to a trained professional to undergo a feeding evaluation. Problems with the latch on usually point to the existence of a tongue or lip tie. 

The doctor will assess the medical history of your child during the first appointment and perform a quick oral exam to check for this condition.


Treatment of Tongue and Lip Ties: Laser vs Scissors

As far as the treatment outcome is concerned using scissors is just as effective as a laser treatment to treat tongue or lip ties. The main difference is, with soft laser treatments, no anesthesia is required. Pain and bleeding are kept to a minimum, and hence, your baby isn’t put through unnecessary discomfort. 

The soft tissue dental laser treatment is a simple procedure and your child will be able to return home after it’s done. The lasers emit therapeutic light that is absorbed by the body. It simultaneously destroys bacteria and promotes tissue regeneration. Because these lasers cauterize the wound as the penetrate, the chance of a bacterial infection is very slim. 


We Perform Safe and Effective Tongue and Lip Tie Releases For Infants

At Gep TOTs, our highly trained dental care professionals can effectively diagnose and rehabilitate a tongue or lip tie in your infant. In most cases, these conditions go undiagnosed because they are not a regular part of the medical or dental curriculum. Opting for harsher surgical alternatives could lead to pain and discomfort.

If you suspect that your child has a tongue or lip tie, we strongly recommend bringing them in for a consultation. 


Don’t let your infant suffer from nursing and oral mobility issues caused by this condition. Contact us to schedule an appointment.  

Tongue-tie is a condition present at birth that causes a range of problems, and a simple procedure called a “frenectomy” is the best treatment.Tongue-tie is when the tongue is restricted because it’s connected too tightly to the floor of the mouth by connective tissue called the “frenulum.” The condition is often misunderstood, even among physicians and other health professionals who work in Labor and Delivery. This is unfortunate, since the most beneficial time to treat tongue-tie is when a baby is still a newborn.

Immediate Problems Caused by Tongue-Tie

The most serious problem caused by tongue-tie beginning at birth is that breastfeeding is very difficult and causes mom excessive pain. The baby’s tongue doesn’t have the needed freedom and movement to properly breastfeed.

In trying to nurse, babies find that it’s too painful. They end up making compensations in their attempt to get nourishment. Whether they simply take much longer than usual to nurse, purse their lips, or limit how far their mouths are opened because of tongue tie, the ultimate result is unsuccessful breastfeeding. Babies typically fail to thrive. Some with the muscle strength and ability to stay awake for lengthy feedings usually manage to maintain proper weight, but the ordeal is too painful for moms, who are compelled to stop breastfeeding prematurely.

The following are more signs that an infant has tongue-tie. The baby:

  • Has difficulty latching on
  • Needs frequent or extended feeds
  • Biting or grinding when feeding
  • Low weight
  • Slips off the breast while nursing
  • Drooling
  • Dribbles or makes clicking sounds while breastfeeding
  • Vomits after nursing
  • The tip of the tongue can’t reach the roof of the mouth
  • Difficulty licking lips
  • Swallowing problems
  • Pain
  • Impaired tongue mobility

Long-term results of tongue-tie include narrow dental arches, malocclusion (a misaligned bite), cavities, mouth breathing, and sleep disturbance problems.

What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a procedure to treat tongue tie in which the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is disconnected, allowing the tongue to freely move. Neither a scalpel nor stitches are needed, thanks to advancements in technology. A frenectomy performed with a laser is quick and precise, and no anesthesia is needed. The entire procedure is typically performed in about three minutes.

Frenectomies are performed with a very high success rate. Any discomfort during the healing process is typically treated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Contact the Experts at GEP TOTs Dental Group / Woodbridge Orthopedics

A team of specialists in the Greater Toronto Area are experts at diagnosing and treating infants and children with tongue-tie and the other form of tethered oral tissue (TOT), lip tie.

If your newborn has difficulties feeding and possibly other symptoms of tongue-tie, consult our professionals at GEP TOTs Dental Group / Woodbridge Orthodontics as soon as possible. The healing time for a frenectomyis quicker and post-operative pain is minimized when a baby is still in the newborn stage. Contact us online or call (803) 223-7655 for an appointment with our dental specialists. There are many immediate and long-term issues that will be resolved with a frenectomy, if your child has tongue-tie.

Myth-Dispelling Facts about Tongue-Tie

In spite of astounding progress in the field of medicine, there is ongoing controversy about tongue-tie. Remarkably, the debate includes whether or not tongue-tie even exists. Some medical specialists dismiss tongue-tie as a myth. Yet, countless individuals can attest from personal experience that it is an existing condition associated with a wide range of problems. Mothers of breastfeeding babies are a considerable percentage of those who have no doubt that their child had tongue-tie that was remedied by a frenectomy. Below, learn more about tongue-tie, what causes it, symptoms of the condition, frenectomies, and more.

What is Tongue-Tie?

Ankyloglossia or tongue-tie is caused by a frenulum that restricts the tongue. The frenulum is also known as the lingual frenulum, and it is the small fold of membrane that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If the frenulum is short or especially tight, tongue mobility can be adversely affected. Tongue-tie is a genetic condition that frequently runs in families.

How is Tongue-Tie Diagnosed?

Tongue-tie can be identified from the moment of birth, and it is usually diagnosed during a physical exam, often an exam by a dentist or orthodontist. The tongue has a part in the development of straight, healthy teeth. When diagnosing infants, physicians may use a screening tool to score different aspects of the tongue’s mobility and appearance.

Newborn Symptoms of Tongue-Tie

Not all doctors check newborn infants for signs of tongue-tie, but certain symptoms of the condition can be detected early on. A newborn’s open mouth posture, symptoms of sleep apnea, and mouth breathing are all potential signs of tongue-tie.

Breastfeeding symptoms of tongue-tie

The following have been identified as symptoms of tongue-tie a breastfeeding child may exhibit:

  • Difficulty latching on
  • Inability to sustain the latch for long
  • Shallow latching
  • Feeding for prolonged periods
  • Continued restlessness, even after lengthy feeds
  • Makes a clicking noise during nursing
  • Irritable and a refusal to feed
  • Spilling and dribbling
  • Sliding off the nipple
  • Dozing off while breastfeeding
  • Chewing or gumming the breast
  • Unable to use a bottle or pacifier
  • Reflux
  • Colic
  • Excessive gas
  • Arching the back and pulling away from the breast

Mother’s breastfeeding symptoms

  • Pain when nursing
  • Bleeding, cracked nipples
  • Over or undersupply of breast milk, as the breast is inefficiently emptied
  • Inverted or lipstick nipple

Developmental Signs of Tongue-Tie

Experts on tongue-tie often agree that it is best to have a frenectomy performed during the newborn stage. The procedure of snipping or removing the frenulum is very quick and virtually painless. Not only does it help with breastfeeding, but addressing tongue-tie by having a frenectomy can also prevent developmental issues, including the following:

  • Lisp
  • Delayed speech development
  • Difficulty saying certain sounds and letters
  • Unable to use the tongue for moving food off of teeth, resulting in tooth decay (even when brushing is frequent)
  • Aversions to certain food textures
  • Unable to move tongue past the lips
  • Choking or gagging
  • Jaw pain
  • Back and neck pain
  • Migraines
  • Slumped or forward posture

Contact Gep TOTs Dental Group

At Woodbridge Orthodontics, an experienced team of experts at the Gep TOTs Dental Group specializes in treating tongue-tie and lip-tie. Call Gep TOTs today at (647) 492-7059, if you know or suspect that your child has tongue-tie.