Tongue Tie in Denton, TX

little girl at the dentist

Tongue-Tie Unveiled: What You Need to Know

Have you noticed something is off about your or your child’s speech? You may be dealing with a tongue-tie condition. In adults, you might notice certain speech challenges or difficulty with specific sounds. For parents of children with tongue-tie, challenges during breastfeeding and speech development might be early indicators.

Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial for improving the quality of life for individuals affected by tongue-tie. Thankfully, Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, led by Denton dentists Dr. Patrick Ruehle and Dr. Erika Eide provide a quick and easy solution to release tongue-tie in infants, children, and even adults.

What Is Tongue-Tie?

Tongue-tie, medically known as ankyloglossia, is a congenital condition where the strip of skin beneath the tongue, known as the lingual frenulum, is shorter or tighter than normal. This restricts the range of motion of the tongue, potentially leading to a variety of issues. Between four to 11 percent of babies are born with this condition, where a band of tissue connects the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, affecting normal function.

Common symptoms encompass difficulties with breastfeeding, speech articulation, and, in some cases, dental concerns. While present from birth, tongue-tie may not always be immediately apparent, emphasizing the importance of a professional diagnosis. Left untreated, tongue-tie can impact a child’s oral health, speech development, and nutritional intake.

Types of Tongue-Tie

There are three primary types of tongue-tie:

  • Anterior Tongue-Tie: This occurs when the lingual frenulum is attached near the tip of the tongue.
  • Posterior Tongue-Tie: In this case, the attachment is further back on the underside of the tongue.
  • Submucosal Tongue-Tie: This type involves a thick, often hidden, band of tissue beneath the mucous membrane.

How Tongue-Tie Affects You or Your Child

Depending on the severity, tongue-tie can be a serious obstacle in your child’s development that needs to be corrected. Without intervention, tongue-tie can cause:

  • Trouble eating
  • Speech impediments
  • Inability to stick your tongue out
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Improper growth and development of the mouth and jaws
  • Late and inadequate cranial nerve development
  • Sleep disorders

New research is showing connections between tongue-tie and enlarged tonsils and adenoids, repetitive ear infections, dental issues (orthodontic problems), neck pain, and headaches. Tongue-tie can also make it challenging to remove food from your teeth, causing oral hygiene issues over time.


Identifying tongue-tie requires a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty lifting the tongue
  • A heart-shaped appearance when extending the tongue
  • Challenges in sticking out the tongue

A medical assessment will involve a detailed examination to determine the severity and type of tongue-tie. We recommend that you book a visit at Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry if you or your child:

  • Are referred by a speech pathologist
  • Are having a hard time making certain sounds or verbalizing specific letters
  • Have a hard time eating some foods or choking because they have a hard time swallowing
  • Complain about tongue-tie symptoms
  • Have trouble sucking or breastfeeding

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Approaches

  • Speech Therapy: Some individuals with mild cases of tongue-tie can benefit from targeted speech therapy exercises designed to improve tongue mobility and function.
  • Lactation Consultation: For infants struggling with breastfeeding due to tongue tie, consulting with a lactation specialist can offer guidance on alternative feeding techniques.

Surgical Procedures

  • Frenotomy (Frenulotomy): This is a minimally invasive procedure where the healthcare provider cuts the lingual frenulum to release the tongue’s restriction. It’s a quick and generally well-tolerated intervention.
  • Frenuloplasty: In cases of severe tongue-tie, a more extensive procedure may be necessary, involving the reshaping or reconstruction of the frenulum.

How Tongue-Tie is Treated at Garden Oaks

Correcting your case or your child’s case of tongue-tie is quick and easy. We start by applying a topical anesthetic to numb the area. Afterward, Dr. Ruehle or Dr. Eide will release the tissue attachment that holds your tongue to the floor of your mouth using the Waterlase® laser. The laser cauterizes the tissue as it cuts to avoid bleeding.

The Waterlase laser is an award-winning dental system that relies on laser energy and water. This method enables us to perform a wide range of dental treatments without the need for shots or drills, providing a gentler experience and comfortable healing. There are no shots and no stitches. You or your child can go right back to play, school, or work immediately.

Benefits of Treating Tongue-Tie

Addressing tongue-tie can bring about a multitude of positive changes in various aspects of life.

  • Improved Speech Development: By releasing the restriction caused by tongue-tie, individuals can experience enhanced articulation and clearer speech. This can be particularly impactful for children, ensuring they develop strong communication skills from an early age.
  • Facilitated Breastfeeding: Tongue-tie treatment can significantly improve breastfeeding for infants and their mothers. With increased tongue mobility, infants can latch more effectively, leading to better milk transfer and reduced discomfort for the breastfeeding parent.
  • Enhanced Oral Health: Resolving tongue-tie issues can prevent potential dental problems that may arise due to improper tongue function. This includes issues like misalignment of teeth and difficulties in maintaining proper oral hygiene.
  • Reduced Discomfort and Pain: Untreated tongue-tie can lead to discomfort, especially when trying to perform tasks that require extensive tongue movement. Treatment can alleviate this discomfort, leading to an overall improved quality of life.
  • Greater Nutritional Intake: For infants and children, tongue-tie treatment can lead to improved eating habits. With increased tongue mobility, they can consume a wider variety of foods, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.
  • Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem: Resolving tongue-tie challenges can positively impact an individual’s confidence, especially in social situations that involve speaking or eating. This can lead to improved self-esteem and a more fulfilling social life.
  • Prevention of Secondary Complications: Addressing tongue-tie early on can prevent potential secondary complications that may arise if the condition is left untreated, ensuring long-term oral health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

We Can Solve Tongue-tie

Call our Denton office at (940) 566-4888 or fill out the contact form to learn more about tongue-tie treatments for your infant or child. We’ll perform your treatment with the latest and most advanced dental technologies right from our comfortable and clean dental office. Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry proudly serves new and returning patients in the Robinson Oaks and Corinth areas.

Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

3312 Teasley Ln.
Suite 200
Denton, TX 76210

Office Hours

8:30am – 5:30pm
7:30am – 4:30pm
7:30am – 4:30pm
7:00am – 4:00pm