Little Flower Family Medicine is one of the only practices in the St. Louis area which specialize in treating tongue ties and lip ties in infants, children, and adults.  Dr. Grawey and her staff are trained to treat tongue ties and lip ties.

What are Tongue Ties and Lip Ties?

Tongue ties occur when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth (called a frenulum) is too tight.  A tight frenulum can restrict the natural movement of the tongue; which plays an important role in speech, swallowing, breastfeeding, and bottle feeding.  

Lip ties are similar to tongue ties, and result in the upper frenulum (which attaches the upper lip to the gums) is also too tight.  This can also cause issues with breastfeeding, as well as impaired development of the upper teeth or even cavities on the front surfaces of the front upper teeth (due to food/milk being trapped between the tightly attached upper lip and teeth).  Most often, individuals who have lip ties also have tongue ties.

How Do Tongue Ties/Lip Ties Affect Infants and Mothers?

Breastfeeding issues are the most common reason for identifying tongue ties and lip ties in infants.  The restriction of tongue and/or lip can cause an inability of the baby to properly latch to the breast.  This can result in:

  • Poor weight gain of the infant
  • Low milk supply
  • Nipple pain
  • Infant displays excessive fussiness; is gassy, or colicky

How are Tongue Ties and Lip Ties Treated at LFFM?

Tongue ties and lip ties are released by a frenectomy.  A frenectomy involves cutting the frenum to release the tongue and/or lip and allowing proper movement.  This can be done either by using scissors or a diode laser.  At Little Flower Family Medicine, Dr. Grawey and staff perform frenectomies using the diode laser to ensure a fast and efficient cut.  The use of the laser has been shown to reduce pain, bleeding, and the need for repeat procedures. 

No anesthesia is necessary for this procedure, although topical anesthesia may be used depending on the age of the individual.  The entire procedure takes just a few minutes.

What to Expect at A Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Consultation at LFFM
     1.   Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Evaluation (and Breastfeeding Evaluation if applicable)

Not all tongue ties/lip ties cause issues and some tongue tied/lip tied infants experience little to no difficulty breastfeeding.  At a consultation, the first step is to determine the severity of the tongue tie/lip tie and (for breastfeeding infants) whether breastfeeding is directly affected. 

Please arrive 20 minutes early to complete check-in registration.  For the appointment itself, please expect the evaluations to be 90 minutes long for breastfeeding mothers and 60 minutes for non-breastfeeding mothers.  If breastfeeding, you and your baby are seen together for both the breastfeeding consultation and tongue/lip tie evaluation. 

     2.   Frenectomy

If it is determined that treatment is needed, then a frenectomy may be scheduled for another appointment following the evaluation.  This visit will be a shorter visit for treatment only.

     3.    Observing results

Once the frenectomy is completed, we want to be sure that your child can drink until content.  Please bring any tools necessary which you use to feed your child (nipple shield for breastfeeding, pump or expressed breastmilk, formula in bottle, ect.).

How to Schedule an Appointment

Before requesting a consultation, please check to see what insurances we are in-contract with by clicking here, then read this important insurance and billing information:

*Little Flower Family Medicine has an upfront billing policy. If you have not met your deductible, or out of pocket expense, you will be responsible for paying at the time of service. A simple phone call to your insurance company can help you to determine these costs. When you call your insurance company, the procedure codes for the evaluation are 40819 (lip-tie) and 41115 (tongue-tie). For cash-pay patients, we offer a 25% discount at the time of service.
*Make sure to bring your insurance card(s) with you to your appointment!
*ATTENTION MEDICAID (MO) CARD HOLDERS: If you and/or your child are on Medicaid, you must bring your medicaid card with you to verify eligibility.

  • If your Medicaid insurance is an HMO plan, you will need a referral from your primary care physician listed on your card before any services can be rendered (including primary care).

*At this time, we are only in network with MO Medicaid.
*To hold the appointment, we will ask that a credit card be put on file. If for some reason, you need to reschedule or cancel the appointment, we ask that you give us 24 hours notice. If you miss the appointment, or fail to give us the 24 hour notice, the credit card will be charged $40 for both mom and baby.

After reviewing the previous information,  please click the button below and fill out the form to submit a request to Little Flower Family Medicine for a consultation.  Once you have done so, we will contact you about making appointment usually within 3 days.

Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Consultations