If you’re noticing any irregularities in your baby’s ability to breastfeed, it may be a sign that they have a lip and/or tongue tie. Your little one can be quickly and efficiently checked out by a professional at myKIDSdds. We offer excellent pediatric dental services that are specially adapted for infants and growing children.

Understanding the Frenum

A frenum is a small fold of tissue that restricts the motion of a semi-mobile organ in the body. We are all born with two kinds of frenum inside our mouths, the lingual frenum, and the labial frenum. These tissues connect the bottom center of the tongue with the floor of the mouth (lingual frenum) and the inside of the upper lip to the gums between the two front teeth (labial frenum). When this tissue is excessively tight or thick, it can restrict movement, impairing mobility and/or functionality. Restricted movement is what determines whether a tongue or lip tie is present.

Symptoms of a Tongue or Lip Tie

Common signs of a tongue or lip tie in an infant may include:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Colic symptoms
  • Reflux symptoms
  • Gas
  • Lip calluses
  • Weak suck
  • Slides off nipples
  • Nursing frequently or for an extended time
  • Gumming or chewing of nipples
  • Clicking noise
  • Film on tongue
  • Nurses on one side
  • Turns head to one side
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Milk leaking from babies’ mouth when nursing

As a child with a tongue or lip tie grows they may struggle with the following issues until the underlying problem is resolved.

  • Articulation difficulties
  • Gum recession in Adults
  • Inability to remove food particles with tongue sweeping
  • Difficulty eating solid foods, textured foods, and manipulating food in the mouth
  • Gagging and choking
  • Interference with certain social pleasures
  • Brushing and flossing can be painful
  • Increased risk of dental caries
  • An abnormal gap between the upper front teeth
  • Affected development of facial musculature

It important to note that tongue and/or lip ties can affect everyone differently. Many people have ‘ties’ which do not cause any problems. This is why we assess each case on an individual basis. If your little one is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above you may want to schedule an appointment for an exam and consultation with one of our experienced pediatric dentists.

Lingual and Labial Frenectomies

A lingual (tongue) and/or labial (lip) frenectomy is the surgical release of a ‘tie’, the excess tissue restricting the functionality of the tongue and/or lip. These procedures are seconds long and, when both are necessary, are performed at the same appointment. They can be performed with a scalpel or scissors, or with a laser.

A few of the benefits of laser revisions include:

  • Complete removal of tissue
  • Reduced damage to adjacent oral structures
  • Better precision
  • Minimal bleeding, if any
  • Unlikely need for sutures because the wound is cauterized by the laser
  • Minimal inflammation
  • Shortened healing time
  • Much lower risk of infection

We know what a difficult time this can be for new parents and want to make sure you are able to make an educated decision that is right for you and your baby. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and talk you through the different options available, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

You are in great hands with myKIDSdds. Our pediatric dentists, Dr. Mark Kogut and Dr. Alex Villasenor, have been performing laser revisions for almost 10 years. They are committed to education; attending conferences and classes that will keep them abreast of the latest technology and surgical techniques. They are both certified members of the ALD (Academy of Laser Dentistry) and perform an average of 50 frenectomy procedures a month.

If you’re in Dallas, TX or the surrounding areas, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call directly.