Lip & Tongue Tie (Frenectomy)
What are Lip & Tongue Ties?
- Tongue and lip ties are conditions that can prevent proper nursing in infants. The tongue and lip ideally should move freely.
How do Lip & Tongue Ties affect babies nourishment?
- The tongue controls food as it is gathered in, and moves in a rolling motion against the palate to create the swallowing motion.
- In tongue-ties the tip of the tongue is connected to the floor of the mouth and restricts the normal movements of the tongue. The infant’s tongue cannot reach out far enough to latch onto the mother’s breast.
- If the infant cannot extend the middle and back of the tongue up against the nipple and press against the roof of the mouth, the milk will not be expressed.
- The infant that cannot latch correctly may swallow air instead of milk, leading to increased gas and abdominal distension and develop clicking sounds, belching and colic symptoms.
Will the Lip & Tongue Ties self correct as the baby gets older and develops more?
- There are myths about tongue and lip ties that they will self-correct.
- This is false. Failure to correct this condition can lead to poor developmental growth, including mouth breathing, digestive problems, dental caries, speech abnormalities and orthodontic malocclusion.
- The idea that releasing of tongue and lip tie procedures need to be done in a surgical arena is another myth.
- The use of laser dentistry has allowed practitioners to treat tongue and lip ties without the need for the surgical setting and be completed quickly with minimal discomfort.
What Other symptoms are common for babies that have lip & tongue ties and their mothers?
- Infant Symptoms: reflux symptoms, inability to hold a pacifier, and short sleep episodes with feedings every 2-3 hours.
- Symptoms the mother may experience: creased, flattened or blanched nipples after nursing, cracked, bruised, blistered, or bleeding nipples, severe pain when the infant attempts to latch, poor or incomplete breast drainage, infected nipples or breasts, plugged ducts, or nipple thrush.