Children may be born with a combination of conditions called a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) and/or a lip-tie. These may cause restrictions in movement that can lead to difficulty with breastfeeding, and in some instances, other health problems like dental decay or spacing, speech and airway difficulties, and digestive issues.
During a frenotomy, laser light removes the frenum under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion. With very little discomfort and almost no bleeding, some babies and children sleep through the procedure. The laser sterilizes upon touch, reducing the chance of infection and stimulating healing.
Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is the restriction of tongue movement as a result of the tongue adhering to the floor of the mouth. Normal tongue function allows a baby to latch adequately and breastfeed efficiently, promotes normal speech development, makes it possible for a child to self-cleanse the mouth during eating, allows adequate swallowing patterns, allows for proper growth and development. It also makes possible fun little things like eating ice cream, kissing or sticking your tongue out to catch snowflakes.
A lip-tie occurs when the upper lip remains attached to the upper gum. It can lead to problems with speech and eating habits, jaw pain and protrusion, clicking jaws, difficulty kissing, licking lollipops or ice cream, a gap between teeth, pain with breastfeeding, and other oral health issues.
Both Tongue-ties and/or Lip-ties can create issues related to breastfeeding. A frenectomy can help mothers relieve the pain of breastfeeding and regain healthy nipples and breasts, stimulate milk production by adequate stimulation, encourage bonding with her baby, and ensure adequate feeding and growth of the baby.
Tongue tie occurs between 4% – 10.7% of the population. There is a genetic predisposition as well.
The procedure is super quick and usually takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. Furthermore, mom can nurse right after.
In order to get the best results and to ensure healing occurs properly, parents or caregivers need to complete the post treatment stretches with their baby which you will be instructed to perform.
Older children and adults can also benefit from lip tie and tongue tie correction. There are many benefits, from better oral hygiene to less orthodontic severity, especially from lip tie treatment. It can help with speech as well!
With using a laser, there is significantly less pain, minimal bleeding, and most likely sutures are not needed. This allows for fast healing and the benefits are seen almost instantly. This form of treatment usually requires using just a numbing anesthetic such as topical and occasionally a local anesthetic can be used.
Take a look at this comprehensive video from Dr. Fatina: