Frenectomies / Tongue-tie Release

In the mouth, a “frenum” or “frenulum” is a piece of soft tissue that runs in a thin line between the lips and gums. It is present on the top and bottom of the mouth. There’s also a frenum that stretches along the underside of the tongue and connects to the bottom of the mouth behind the teeth. In some people the frenum “fails” to recede and is too tight. “Tongue-tie” relates to the limited use of the tongue due to a tight frenum. “Lip-tie” relates to the restricted mobility and function of the upper lip due to a tight frenum.

Early indicators of tongue-ties are nursing/feeding difficulties that may include:


  • Ineffective or poor latch
  • Prolonged feeding times
  • Unsatisfied hunger after long feeding
  • Falls asleep easily while feeding
  • Gumming or chewing on nipples
  • Poor weight gain or failure to thrive
  • Gas, colic symptoms and/or reflux
  • Nursing ulcer on upper lip
  • Clicking or gulping sounds during feeding
  • Unable to hold a pacifier
  • Easily chokes
  • Frequent release and relatch


  • Pain with latch during nursing
  • General nursing discomfort
  • Incomplete breast drainage
  • Reduction of milk flow
  • Infected nipples
  • Frequent mastitis or nipple thrush
  • Recurring clogged ducts
A frenectomy is a procedure that releases the frenum. A tongue or lip can be released using a laser in a little as 5 to 10 minutes, and in most cases only requires a topical numbing anesthetic. There is little to no bleeding and minimal discomfort following the procedure. We believe in treating all our patients with compassion and that starts when they are just infants. We utilize the laser to efficiently release the frenum tethering the genioglossus muscle, and this technique results in a diamond shape wound. Our office has a private nursing room to allow infant breastfeeding immediately following the procedure. We provide each family with detailed aftercare instructions to help ensure success, as well as encourage more visits with their lactation consultant or speech language pathologists.

Quick Facts

  • It’s a simple procedure with minimal complications.
  • The laser allows for excellent visualization and precision during the procedure to achieve a full release of all the fibers.
  • The procedure can be performed as early as a couple of days after birth and can be performed into adulthood.
  • Private nursing room for feeding immediately following the procedure.
The use of lasers in pediatric dentistry has become increasingly popular in recent years. Soft tissue lasers are commonly used to release tethered oral tissues, including lip and/or tongue ties, to improve feeding and swallowing problems in both infants and children. They may also be used to remove excessive tissue and tethered oral tissues in adolescents, teenagers, and adults.

Contact Us

Lake Wylie Pediatric Dentistry
534 Nautical Drive
Lake Wylie, SC 29710

Phone: 803-619-5155
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Monday - Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Summer Hours:
7:30am - 2:30pm