Infant Tongue Tie and Laser Frenectomy
INFANT TONGUE TIE AND LASER FRENECTOMY
Many infants are born with a condition where the lingual frenum, a cord which connects the tongue with the floor of the mouth is too short and prevents adequate movement of the tongue . The tongue is therefore restricted and is typically referred to as a tongue-tie . Tongue movement is extremely important in breastfeeding and the tongue needs to elevate adequately to the roof of the mouth and help provide an adequate seal during breastfeeding. Untreated tongue ties in infants can lead to many other issues as the child matures.
Chewing and Swallowing difficulty- Limited tongue mobility can lead to a toddler having difficulty chewing and swallowing solids foods. Parents may find it difficult to introduce new foods into their baby's diet and this can negatively impact the child's nutrition and growth.
Abnormal Breathing, snoring -Many children experience poor sleep patterns, snoring and sleep apnea
Delayed speech development can occur in many children because they are unable to move their tongue and therefore cannot pronounce words or letters properly
Oral health problems-Poor dental hygiene and increased risk for cavities occurs when the tongue lateral movement is restricted and the child is not able to move their tongue towards the outer surfaces of teeth to clean food off. This is commonly overlooked and can be a large factor in why some children are susceptible to more cavities on some posterior teeth. Inability of the tongue to elevate and contact the palate and as a result widen the palate laterally over time can result in narrow facial structure and higher arched narrow palate and they mature .
In addition there is mounting evidence that tongue ties are linked to many speech, airway, developmental issues and oral health issues,
INFANT LASER FRENECTOMY INDICATIONS
- Symptoms that your child may be lip tied or tongue tied
- Heart shaped end tongue
- Baby cries however tongue does not elevate but lays flat and low in the mouth
- Poor latch , frequent nursing , child seems unsatisfied after feedings
- Mild drools during feeding
- Reflux/ colic symptoms
- Excessively gassy baby-baby swallowing a lot of air because baby cannot maintain proper suction with lip and tongue
- Poor weight gain in baby, failure to thrive
- Discomfort when breastfeeding , sore nipples , flat creased, blanched nipples after nursing
- Low milk supply
- Sleep deprivations ( waking up more frequently to nurse an unsatisfied baby )
- Plugged ducts, mastitis
A tongue and Lip tie can many times be the cause of symptoms such as colic, reflux, failure to thrive. A Laser frenectomy can alleviate and in many cases eliminate these problems for your baby.
WHAT IS A POSTERIOR TONGUE TIE
If your baby is not gaining weight, has clicking whilst nursing and has a latch with is poor and there is not an obvious tie restriction seen below the tongue a “posterior tongue-tie”may be present. A trained professional is needed to identify and release posterior tongue ties. After adequate release via laser frenectomy surgery, nursing and latch is improved significantly and babies are able to gain weight and thrive.
HOW DOES A TONGUE TIE CAUSE REFLUX ?
Ties prevent the baby's tongue from elevating and therefore a seal cannot be created around the mother's breast during feeding. If the seal is not created the baby will suck in air along with milk and this air is ingested with milk. This ingested air leads to more burping, spitting up, gassiness, reflux, colic. Release of the tongue tie and elimination of this tongue restriction which produces an improper seal during breastfeeding can allow the tongue to properly elevate during feeding and create a proper seal and eliminate these symptoms seen in many infants.
TEAM APPROACH TO TONGUE TIE TREATMENT
A written referral from a pediatrician, lactation consultant, nurse practitioner is preferred prior to seeing your baby in our office for a tongue to lip tie consultation .
WHAT IS AN IBCLC?
An IBCLC ( international board certified lactation consultant) is a key provider and is essential provider that your baby should see before we perform a frenectomy procedure in our office . The IBCLC is well familiar with lip and tongue ties and how these ties can affect your ability to breastfeed your baby . Your IBCLC will work with you and your baby to help with latching and can help in ensuring optimal results even after your baby's laser frenectomy surgery is performed at our office.
WHAT IS A CHIROPRACTOR OR CRANIOSACRAL THERAPIST
Due to limited and compromised tongue mobility, tongue tied children may experience whole body tension. A visit to the chiropractor 1-2 days before the procedure may help relieve some of that tension so that a child goes into the frenectomy procedure as comfortable as possible.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A VITAMIN K SHOT ?
To prevent bleeding complications it is preferred that your child receive a Vit K shot soon after birth and before the frenectomy procedure
HOW CAN MY CHILD BE EVALUATED FOR A TONGUE TIE ?
Even if your child has been told that they do not have a tongue-tie, but they have all the symptoms, there is a chance it is a posterior tongue-tie and should be evaluated. Please feel free to contact our office at 202 873 9696 should you desire a consultation with our office to evaluate your baby's need for a labial frenectomy or a lingual frenectomy performed via laser.