Sometimes, infants are born with a lip-tie or tongue-tie (also referred to as ankyloglossia). While these conditions can affect the function of the lip and tongue, they are both easily treatable. Our Newtown Dentistry professionals are skilled and practiced in performing tongue-tie and lip-tie release—procedures that successfully correct both conditions. And, our safe, comfortable, and friendly environment ensures a pleasant experience for both little ones and their parents.
Babies with tongue-tie are more common than those born with a lip-tie. And, tongue- and lip-ties often are more common in boys than girls. Your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor can diagnose a tongue-tie, but often a lactation consultant is the first person to notice this condition when evaluating breastfeeding issues a mom and child may be having.
A tongue-tie occurs when the “lingual frenulum,” or tight band of tissue, remains affixed to the bottom of the tongue (making it stick to the floor of the mouth). A lip-tie, although not as common as a tongue-tie, also affects the frenulum tissue—but in the piece of tissue behind the upper lip (instead of the bottom of the tongue). This thick “labial frenulum” can prevent the upper lip from moving properly.
Both a tongue-tie and a lip-tie can affect breastfeeding, making it difficult for both baby and mom. It can be painful for breastfeeding moms, and babies can have difficulty getting the sustenance they need. Symptoms of a tongue-tie may include:
Difficulty latching during breastfeeding
Inadequate milk transfer
Clicking sounds while nursing
Speech challenges as your child grows older
Safe Tongue- and Lip-Tie Release
The good news is that there are minimally invasive lip- and tongue-tie surgeries that we can perform safely here in our office. Since it’s quite common for tongue- and lip-ties to develop in tandem, both issues can also be addressed at the same time. Also known as frenotomy or frenuloplasty, tongue- and lip-tie releases are straightforward, quick, and effective outpatient laser procedures performed by our expert pediatric dentists. The goal of the release surgery is to free the restricted tongue movement by carefully snipping the frenulum, using a precise, safe laser.
Our pediatric dentists prefer to use an advanced laser called the LightScapel CO2. Specifically, here are some of the benefits of a LightScapel CO2 laser tongue- and lip-tie release procedure:
Enhanced Comfort and Precision: The precise nature of the CO2 LightScalpel laser reduces trauma to the surrounding tissues, resulting in a more comfortable procedure for your child.
Minimized Bleeding: The laser’s cauterizing effect seals blood vessels during the procedure, significantly reducing bleeding.
Reduced Healing Time: Laser dentistry in general stimulates tissue regeneration, accelerating the healing process for a faster recovery.
Shortened Procedure: Our dentists can perform a tongue-tie release in less time, which we know is essential when caring for babies.
No Hospitalization and No Sedation: A tongue-tie release is performed on an outpatient basis in the comfort of our dental home with no sedation.
Faster Recovery for Your Baby
The recovery phase is usually quick and straightforward. Your baby might experience slight discomfort for a day or two, but the majority of infants resume breastfeeding almost immediately. Feeding may even feel more comfortable for both you and your baby post-surgery.
Tongue-Tie Release Benefits for Your Baby’s Health
The release procedure has both immediate and long-term health benefits for your child, including:
Enhanced Breastfeeding: Tongue-tie can create hurdles in breastfeeding for both the baby and the mother. The release surgery can enhance latching, milk transfer, and feeding efficiency, ensuring a nourishing start for your infant.
Speech Development: As your child grows, proper tongue mobility is crucial for speech development. Tongue-tie release surgery can prevent potential speech challenges, allowing your child to communicate effectively.
Improved Oral Health: Unaddressed, tongue-tie could lead to dental and oral health issues down the road. The procedure can help prevent problems like improper teeth alignment, gum recession, and difficulty maintaining oral hygiene.
Your Trusted Source for Pediatric Dentistry
At Newtown Dentistry, we don’t simply treat patients—we form trusting and lasting relationships. Safety and comfort are our priorities, which is why we will do everything we can to make sure your baby receives the most gentle, high-quality patient care possible. It’s our goal to treat your children as if they are our own!
If you’d like to learn more about a tongue-tie or lip-tie release procedure for your child or meet with one of our pediatric experts, you can schedule an appointment now. Or, call us anytime with questions at (215) 608-6401.