Tongue Tie Treatment (Frenectomy) in Lake Worth
What is a tongue tie?
The tongue is joined to the bottom of the mouth by a band of tissue called the lingual frenulum. For unknown reasons, some people are born with a short, thick lingual frenulum resulting in limited tongue movement. This makes it hard for some newborns to properly latch on to the breast or bottle.
What is a lip tie?
The top lip is connected to the gums by a band of tissue called the maxillary labial frenulum. In some children, the top lip is connected higher on the gums in between the front teeth, which often causes a gap.
So would I need surgery for a lip/tongue tie?
In severe cases, this high frenum attachment can be restrictive and prevent infants to latch and feed properly. In these cases, a tongue tie is usually present in addition to the lip tie in which both frenums would need to be release.
Most common symptoms of tongue ties/lip ties:
- Slow or poor weight gain
- Pain during nursing
- Poor or shallow latch on the breast or bottle
- Prolonged feeding time
- Milk leaking from the mouth from a poor seal
- Clicking or smacking noises when nursing/feeding
- Reflux and irritability from swallowing excessive air
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, please give us a call at 817-238-6450 for a consultation. If left untreated, not only would there be development delay, but speech may be difficult as the child grows older.
My child doesn’t have these symptoms but has a gap between the front teeth. Would my child still need surgery?
In majority of the lip tie cases we see, we can usually wait until the child grows older as the gap may close naturally. If the gap persists after most of the permanent teeth has erupted, then we would need to coordinate with the orthodontist and plan to revise the lip tie.
How do we treat lip/tongue tie?
At Lake Worth Children’s Dentistry, our doctors use a C02 diode laser.
Advantages of using a laser:
- We can conservatively release the frenum in less than a minute.
- There is minimal pain and bleeding so no sutures are needed.
- Rapid healing and recovery
- Afterwards our infant patients can feed immediately with noticeable improvement.
- Minimal chance for the lip/tongue tie to re-attach.
Our doctors would then go over postop instructions as well as stretching exercises to improve lip/tongue mobility.