Infant Frenectomy Treatment
What is a Tongue Tie or Lip Tie?
A lip or tongue tie is caused by a labial or lingual frenum (or frenulum). The frenum is a remnant of tissue in the midline. It is either between the undersurface of the lip and gums or the tongue and the floor of the mouth. If the frenum is too restrictive, it can interfere with breastfeeding and is treated with an infant frenectomy. A restrictive frenum is commonly called a lip tie, tongue tie or tethered oral tissue (TOTs).
What is an Infant Frenectomy?
An infant frenectomy is a procedure that can be performed on children who have a medical condition called tongue-tie. Tongue-tie occurs when the thin piece of tissue (frenulum) connecting the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is shorter than usual, making it difficult for the child to move their tongue. In some cases, a frenectomy is recommended to help the child feed, speak and breathe better.
A laser frenectomy can be performed on infants in order to provide relief from tongue-tie symptoms such as difficulty breastfeeding, speech delays and poor oral hygiene. During a laser frenectomy, a special dental laser is used to remove the frenulum in a few minutes. The procedure is quick and has minimal downtime, meaning the child can return home shortly afterwards.
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"He's a "TOTALLY DIFFERENT BABY" after his lip & tongue tie releases!"
When Hayden was just 1 month old, Emily noticed he was not gaining weight, was colicky, problems with eating/taking a bottle, and was even projectile vomiting. After seeking help from multiple healthcare providers, she found her way to us at Inspire Dental Wellness from her lactation consultant. Emily was more than willing to make the long drive to Orland Park all the way from the Kankakee area for Hayden to be treated!
"He latched without pain right after his procedure!
Third-time mom, Amber, brought her baby, Beckett, into Inspire Dental Wellness seeking answers about his suspected tongue tie. Beckett had a difficult time nursing, favoring 1 brand of nipple shields, and still dealing with colicky behavior. After his releases with Dr. Erica, Amber stated that he is a COMPLETELY different baby!
Painful Breastfeeding Problems SOLVED by mini Sproutz™
Paige and her 4 month old son came to Inspire Dental Wellness seeking help for latching issues with breastfeeding. After evaluation, Dr. Erica diagnosed Wyatt with an upper lip tie, posterior tongue tie, and bilateral cheek ties. Paige felt supported from beginning to end.
These may be some signs of tongue tie or lip tie
- nipple pain and/or nipple erosion
- nipple looks pinched, creased, bruised, or abraded after feeds
- white stripe at the end of the nipple
- painful breasts or vasospasm
- poor milk supply
- plugged ducts
- recurring thrush
- frustration, disappointment, and discouragement with breastfeeding
- weaning before mom is ready
- poor latch and suck
- fussiness and frequent pulling away from the breast
- clicking sound while nursing (which can mean poor suction)
- unusually strong suck due to baby using excess vacuum to remove milk
- ineffective milk transfer
- spilling milk during feeds
- jaw quivering after or in between feeds
- inadequate weight gain or weight loss
- irritability or colic
- gas and reflux
- gets tired about 1 to 2 minutes into nursing
- sliding off the breast gradually
- chewing or biting on the nipple
- falling asleep at the breast without finishing a full feed
- coughing, choking, gulping, or squeaking when feeding
Consequences of Not Treating Tongue Tie or Lip Tie
If left untreated, the tissue does not stretch or rip on its own. At best, the infant/tongue tied baby will learn to compensate to eat. At worst, the breastfeeding relationship will suffer and/or end. Later in life there may be difficulty chewing and/or swallowing certain solid foods. It may lead to delayed or difficult to understand to speech. It most likely will alter facial growth possibly causing jaw problems, inadequate space for teeth leading to crowding and the need for orthodontics, and possibly sleep apnea.
How we Perform Infant Frenectomies / Lingual Frenectomy
In our office, Dr. Erica corrects the altered frenum/tongue tie by doing a frenectomy with the LightScalpel CO2 laser. Most infants will nurse immediately following the procedure. However, we do not expect full resolution of symptoms right away. This would be equivalent to expecting full recovery after an ACL surgery. We do a comprehensive exam and evaluate a multitude of parameters prior to proceeding with a frenectomy to ensure success for our mothers and infants. Fortunately, we work with a great team of professionals to support you and your little one on this journey.
Together, we’ll do everything possible to help your little one grow up happy, healthy and strong. If you are wondering if you have a tongue tied baby then give our office a call at 708-460-6699 to schedule a consultation or fill out the form below and our office will reach out to you.