Tongue-Tie | Lip-Tie | Frenectomy

A frenectomy is an oral surgery procedure that helps treat a tongue-tie or a lip-tie. At Milk Tooth we use a precise CO2 laser to treat lip and tongue restrictions.

Helping Infants

When an infant struggles with breastfeeding, in many cases the problem can be identified and solved by a lactation consultant or bodyworker who aids in latching and proper posture. There are cases, though, when a baby’s lip or tongue is tethered in a way that makes nursing the baby painful and ineffective. In these cases, the frenectomy procedure can free the lip or tongue attachment and make feeding a pleasant bonding experience as it should be in routine cases.

Helping Mothers

This procedure, a frenectomy, not only helps babies be less frustrated with feeding since they are unable to latch properly but can also help mothers as well. This is because the procedure will restore natural order to the baby’s mouth and relieve the pain of breastfeeding that often accompanies a tongue-tied baby. It can also allow a mom to regain healthy nipples and breasts, and help stimulate her milk production, which further encourages bonding with the baby and provides adequate feedings to sustain optimal growth.

Laser Treatment: About The Frenectomy

The frenum tissue connects the lower gums to the tongue and the upper gums to the upper lip. When a baby has abnormally sized frenum tissue, this can affect the oral function of the mouth, and even the movement and appearance. The frenectomy procedure uses laser light to vaporize the frenum under the upper lip or tongue, which gives the baby a better range of motion. Thankfully, the laser treatment is virtually pain-free with only minimal bleeding.

The laser sterilizes the area as it cuts this reduces the chance of infection and stimulates healing in the area. The following are the ways that the frenum can be attached and what this can cause if left untreated in babies and young children:

  • Lingual Frenum: This condition means the frenum is attached to the tongue or is too large. This restricts the tongue’s movement enough to cause problems. In fact, if left untreated, a prominent lingual frenum can cause misaligned teeth, speech issues, inhibit jaw and facial development, affecting sleeping and even breathing patterns. 
  • Labial Frenum: This condition is when the frenum is attached to the upper gums and the center upper lip hinders gum tissue development. This can cause many issues, including alignment problems as well as the development of a gap between the top middle teeth. 

More Information on Conditions Treated by Frenectomy

The following are other conditions that can be addressed and often remedied with a frenectomy and tongue-tie dentist:
  • Tongue-Tie: This condition, more formerly known as ankyloglossia, causes tongue movement to be restricted. The result is a fusion or adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Appearing very much like the tongue is tied to the bottom of the mouth. Infant tongue-tie is often caused by an abnormally short frenum or one that is attached too closely to the tip of the tongue.

Normal tongue function allows babies to latch while breastfeeding to get the nutrients they need to grow. It also promotes normal speech development. When a baby is tongue-tied, this isn’t the case, and they can even have problems self-cleansing their mouth or swallowing properly. Addressing this issue through a frenectomy will allow a child to enjoy normal, fun things, sometimes for the first time ever. For example, sticking out their tongue to catch a snowflake, or eating ice cream out of a cone is made a reality with this procedure.

    • Lip-Tie: A lip-tie is a condition that occurs when the upper lip is attached to the upper gum. This too can cause speech and eating issues, along with causing jaw pain and protrusion, clicking jaws, difficulty licking or kissing, pain with breastfeeding, and cause a gap to form between teeth. Thankfully, these issues can be addressed as well with a frenectomy and a lip-tie dentist.
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