Dr. Joel Butterworth showing a female patient an x-ray

Lip and Tongue-Tie Treatment

Lip or Tongue-Tie Treatment

What is a Lip or Tongue-Tie?

A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) occurs when a band of tissue connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short, which keeps it from moving freely. This band of tissue is called the lingual frenulum. The length of the lingual frenulum varies in each person. When a tongue-tie is present it restricts the tongue’s range of motion. 

A lip-tie is similar, but occurs when the tissue that is inside the upper or lower lip and attached to the gums is too thick, too short, or too stiff and can prevent the upper or lower lip from moving properly. This band of tissue is called the labial/buccal frenulum. 

Lip or tongue-ties can interfere with breastfeeding and has been proven to contribute to speech development issues in some children. A lip or tongue-tie in older children or adults can lead to speech development issues, poor oral hygiene by making it difficult to clear food from the teeth, or other oral health problems. 

What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is an oral surgery procedure that releases lip and tongue-ties. Dr. Butterworth has been using laser technology for soft tissue surgery, such as frenectomies, since completing his residency training. He has also completed advanced hands-on training specializing in infant and newborn lip and tongue-tie releases. Dr. Butterworth utilizes laser technology to release the frenulum.

Lip and Tongue-tie Treatment at the Smile Center

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation for a lip or tongue-tie release, or learning more about our oral surgery services, contact us in Fredericksburg or Ashland to schedule your appointment today.

Published: October 10, 2022


Author: Dr. Joel Butterworth

Joel S. Butterworth, DDS is the dentist and owner of Fredericksburg Smile Center and Ashland Smile Center. Dr. Butterworth has specialized training and clinical experience in all fields of general dentistry as well as advanced training in anesthesia and pain control, TMJ disorders, dental oncology, and emergency medicine.