One of the laser treatments we provide is a frenectomy used to treat infants and children with tongue and lip ties. Infants who have tongue and/or lip ties are often labeled as “lazy nursers” and may also be misdiagnosed with GI problems. As many as 5% of all babies born in the United States have tongue-ties significant enough to cause breastfeeding difficulties and can cause many issues for both infants and their mothers.
The laser frenectomy we provide to release the tongue and/or lip ties can allow the babe to breastfeed more effectively.
Tongue ties and lip ties exist and there are established classifications of Types 1, 2, 3 and 4 and degrees of severity (i.e. thick, thin, tight, loose, webbed...). The baby's lips should flange out as this is necessary for a good latch. Lip ties can inhibit the upper lip from its natural ability to curl up and out by pulling it down and in, which affects the "gape" necessary for a controlled breastfeeding latch.
In the case of a tongue tie, the natural movement of the tongue will be less effective as it will not extend to guide the mother's nipple onto the back of the tongue so that it can then elevate and compress the nipple against the roof of the mouth (palate) to express breast milk.
Should there be a combination of lip tie and tongue tie, there is an increased impact on the ability to nurse.
Have an evaluation for the possible existence of lip and tongue ties if you notice the following:
- If your baby has a nursing blister on his /her lip, chronic burping, belly distention, arching back, clenching hands, milk leakage of his/her mouth or nose, a shallow and weak latch, frequent clicking noises with a loss of breast suck or cannot hold on to a pacifier without assistance.
- If YOU have blistered, bleeding, raw, gummed, flattened nipples, thrush or mastitis etc.
Treatment in this office is provided with soft tissue lasers, offering a kinder treatment than scissors or scalpel, and is ultimately safer. There is little to no bleeding, and the chance of an inadvertent cut is significantly minimized due to the extremely precise control afforded by the laser. After the procedure, the recovery is relatively quick and in many cases, immediate.
Our goal is to provide you with the ability to enjoy a happy breastfeeding experience and to allow you and your baby to enjoy the natural health benefits which breastfeeding. The treatment is necessary to care; it is not a fad treatment. The expressed myth that tongue ties and lip ties do not exist and will self-correct is 100% untrue. If that were true, then there would not be any adolescent or adult tongue and lip ties to be treated. I hope that my attempt to provide you with realistic and factual information helps you to make an informed decision regarding the wellbeing of your new baby.