Tongue-tie and Lip-tie

What is a Frenectomy?

What is a Tongue Tie or a Lip Tie?

At birth children can be immediately diagnosed with a tongue-tie or a lip-tie. With a consultation from a lactation consultant, or from the pediatrician exam, a tie can be correctly identify. We treat corrective tongue-tie and lip-tie with use of the laser. No bleeding occurs, and healing is improved whenever a corrective-tie surgery is done.

What age is best for a Frenectomy Treatment?

At Little Champions, we treat as early as one-week-old infants. It is never too young to have your baby assessed by a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Babies as young as a day old can be examined and when indicated, a frenectomy should be done as early as possible. To find an IBCLC,

follow this link: USLCA Resources

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**Most parents with babies that need frenctomies are seen and treated within a week when referred to our clinic by either their pediatrician or an IBCLC.

Signs your child might need a Frenectomy

Your child may need a frenectomy if they have any of the following problems:

Problems with breastfeeding/feeding: a tongue-tie makes it difficult for infants to swallow because their tongue is significantly restricted, and this can result in some of the following: clicking, falling asleep while nursing, poor weight gain, pain on mothers (among other symptoms).

Speech problems: the tongue and lip are crucial for proper speech development. In cases where their movement is restricted, children will have problems pronouncing certain sounds, and speech impediments such as lisps are common.

Sleep issues: a tight labial frenum could cause your child to sleep with their mouth open because of the inability of their lips to come together at rest, predisposing them to dental problems such as an anterior open bite. Sleep apnea may also occur because there is improper muscular tone of the tongue causing it to lie in a more posterior position and potentially restrict the airway.

Dental problems: the presence of a lip or tongue-tie increases the risk of cavities on the front surface of incisors and gum recession (causing teeth to look abnormally large). Additionally, cavities in the pits and fissures of molars are more likely as the tongue is unable to remove food from these sites.

Benefits of frenectomy treatment

Frenectomies can help to improve the health of your child by making it easier for them to feed (there is often immediate improvement in breastfeeding), allowing their speech to develop properly, and reducing their likelihood for developing serious orthodontic issues like misaligned teeth which would exacerbate problems with eating and speaking.

Having a frenectomy done will also relieve pain that breastfeeding mothers may be experiences because of their baby’s lip or tongue tie.

Two Types of Frenectomy

A lingual frenectomy is performed when the lingual frenulum (the frenulum that connects the bottom of the tongue to the mouth’s floor) is too short or thick. An ill-formed lingual frenulum can result in ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie. Tongue-tie often prevents a patient from eating or speaking correctly and can be especially troublesome for developing children.

A labial frenectomy is performed when the frenulum attaching the top lip to the gums surrounding the top teeth is malformed. A problem with this frenulum may lead to gum recession in the area if it is not addressed.

Tongue Tie / Lip Tie

Tongue-tie: A tongue-tie is when a thick band of tissue under the tongue binds an infant’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth. This tissue, the lingual frenulum, generally separates before birth, but sometimes does not, for unknown reasons. This can lead to difficulties and pain when breastfeeding, as well as other issues with overall oral comfort and speech development. If your child has had problems breastfeeding or an older child complains about tongue discomfort, then tongue-tie might be the culprit.

Lip-tie: Lip-ties are very similar to tongue-ties but are a result of the tissue behind the upper lip, the labial frenulum, being too thick and inflexible instead, preventing the upper lip from moving freely. This condition can make breastfeeding very difficult, resulting in pain and discomfort for the mother and a lack of healthy weight gain for the infant. If you have noticed that your infant is not gaining weight, is constantly hungry but never seems to be satisfied, often falls asleep while nursing or other complications, please contact us today.