Are you struggling to nurse your baby? Does it seem like no matter what you do you and your baby can’t get the hang of breastfeeding? One possible issue could be a lip or tongue-tie in your baby’s mouth. This extra tissue, called a frenulum, could be holding them back from latching properly, which in turn could slow down their growth and development. Fortunately, Dr. Glen’s Happy Teeth has a gentle, effective solution for lip and tongue-ties! Give us a call to learn how laser frenectomies can help you both have a better nursing experience.
A lip or tongue tie is the result of underdeveloped soft tissues in the mouth during gestation. Normally, these connective tissues disappear in the womb as the baby grows and reaches maturity before birth, but sometimes they remain thick after arrival. If this tissue is excessively restrictive, the tongue and/or lip may not be able to do basic essential functions. After birth, the frenulum does not change or improve naturally over time, meaning it must undergo treatment for the patient to see correction.
When a frenulum is tight or thick, it can present several problems. Right away, a lip or tongue tie can prevent the baby’s tongue from lifting up properly and creating the necessary suction to breastfeed. As a result, they may bite down on the nipple or fail to gain weight. Later in life, lip and tongue ties can interfere with the child’s ability to speak clearly and accurately, lead to sleep apnea problems, and negatively affect their oral development.
The concept of lip and tongue-tie treatment is simple—we need to remove the tissue holding the tongue or lip. Traditionally, this involved giving the patient a local anesthetic, cutting the tissue with a scalpel, and a recovery period following the procedure. However, at Dr. Glen’s Happy Teeth, we have a soft tissue laser, which gently and precisely severs the tissue with very little bleeding or discomfort. In fact, most of the time we don’t have to use a local anesthetic at all! With this treatment method, you may notice instant improvement in their lip or tongue function.