Tongue Tie & Laser Frenectomy Treatment
At Milltown Dental, we can provide treatment that allows normal tongue function for baby’s born with tongue-tie and lip tie. Your child will receive the treatment at a young age when it is less intrusive, allowing them to breastfeed easily while growing to develop normal speech and enjoy simple pleasures such as eating an ice cream cone.
What is tongue-tie?
Tongue-tie, or “Ankyloglossia” limits tongue movement as a result of fusion or adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This is because the “frenulum” is either abnormally short or attached too close to the tip of the tongue. The frenulum is a piece of skin that runs along the floor of the mouth. In most cases, this skin separates from the tongue before birth. However, with tongue-tie, the frenulum remains attached.
How is tongue-tie diagnosed?
In most cases, tongue-tie is noticeable when the baby cries as their tongue will be heart shaped due to a tight frenulum. A “posterior tongue-tie” is more difficult to diagnose. In this case, the tongue looks squared off with the floor of the mouth webbing/tenting the tongue. The edges of the tongue will form a cup when your baby cries as the tongue is unable to elevate. The tongue cannot move side to side but instead twists side to side. The tongue struggles to extend out of the mouth while it’s open but cannot stick out. Dr. Julie can assess your baby to confirm tongue-tie.
Why is tongue-tie a problem?
There are many issues with tongue-tie as it affects your baby's ability to feed. As well it affects their oral development, which will impact their ability to eat, swallow and speak. Some common issues include:
- Breastfeeding problems
- Speech difficulties
- Poor oral hygiene
- Inability to lick, kiss or play a wind instrument
How does tongue-tie affect breastfeeding?
Tongue-tie poses a challenge for new mothers who are unable to properly breastfeed their newborns. It is frustrating and can cause the baby to suffer mentally and physically. It can interfere with weight gain as the baby is unable to latch on to breastfeed properly. Mothers can also experience breast issues such as cracks, bruises, and pain during feedings. This increases the risk for breast infection which can affect milk supply. Babies will also experience hunger more frequently as they are not getting enough milk. This means less sleep for mother and baby.
What is laser frenectomy?
Dr. Julie uses laser surgery to quickly separate the frenulum from the tongue. The soft tissue laser does not cut the tissue so it is quicker and safer than using a cutting method. Your baby is more comfortable during the surgery as you can hold the baby to keep them safe and calm.
What are the benefits of laser frenectomy?
The benefits of laser frenectomy include:
- Parents can hold the baby and be present during the procedure
- A lot less pain with many babies actually sleeping through the surgery
- Very rare bleeding as the laser cauterizes during the surgery
- No infection
- No needle required
- No sutures
- None or very minimal post-op pain as the laser seals the nerve endings
- No recovery time required
- Immediate successful feeding
Why have tongue-tie surgery?
As already mentioned tongue-tie can lead to many issues, especially the health and well-being of our baby due to breastfeeding challenges. There are many reasons a frenectomy should be performed including:
- Successful breastfeeding
- Pain-free breastfeeding
- Stimulate milk production
- To make breastfeeding a pleasant experience and improve mother/baby bonding
- Psychological relief for parents with better sleep
- Baby will thrive
- Baby will develop better, healthier sleep habits
- Avoid serious long term issues with palatal development, tooth spacing, dental caries, speech impairments
- Avoid speech issues
- Allow the development of a normal swallowing pattern
- Allow the tongue to self-cleanse the mouth thus lowering the risks of gum disease and decay
- Allow basic tongue function such as licking, kissing, sticking the tongue out
- It will help reduce the risks of choking and developing an atypically strong gag reflex
If you have any questions or would like to book a consultation with Dr. Julie, please call 905-878-8528 or contact us here.