Lip and Tongue-Tie Release
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Lip and Tongue-Tie Release Serving Ontario and the greater Toronto areas
Are you and your baby having trouble with latching and breastfeeding? A tongue-tie or lip-tie could be the cause. Our Pediatric Dentists can diagnose if your baby has this condition and determine if treatment is necessary. Lip and tongue-ties can be released with a simple laser procedure, so you and your baby can get back on track with breastfeeding comfortably and effectively.
What is a Tongue-Tie?
There is a small piece of soft tissue underneath the tongue called a lingual frenulum which attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If the lingual frenulum is shorter or thicker than normal, it can restrict the tongue’s ability to move. This is commonly referred to as tongue-tie (ankyloglossia).
Tongue-ties and lip-ties are most often identified in infants because they can cause feeding difficulties. The tend to run in families and are more common in boys than in girls.
Tongue-Tie Symptoms in Babies:
- Difficulty latching to breast or bottle
- Shallow latch
- Clicking sound while feeding
- Inadequate or slow weight gain
- Reflux or frequent spit up
- Extended nursing/frequent feeding
- Poor tongue mobility
An ineffective latch due to tongue-tie often causes nipple damage and severe pain for the nursing parent. It can result in inadequate milk supply (from ineffective or infrequent nursing) or oversupply (baby is not satisfied and feeds frequently).
Tongue-Tie Symptoms in Nursing Parents:
- Pain or discomfort when breastfeeding
- Cracked, blistered or bleeding nipples
- Nipple may be flattened or distorted into a wedge shape (like a new lipstick)
- Incomplete breast drainage
- Plugged ducts or mastitis
What is a Lip-Tie?
When the maxillary frenulum attaching the upper lip to the gums is larger or thicker than normal, an infant is said to have a lip-tie. It can also interfere with feeding by preventing a good seal on the breast or bottle and it may affect dental development.
Laser Lip and Tongue-Tie Release
Our Pediatric Dentists are skilled at diagnosing tongue-ties and lip-ties and assessing their impact on your child’s feeding, growth and development. If necessary, they can perform a quick procedure to release the lip or tongue-tie. They can also work alongside your healthcare team to make sure your child has lactation, speech and physical therapy supports to ensure optimal recovery.
Our specialists use a dental laser to perform the frenectomy, which separates the frenulum and allows the tongue and/or lip to move more freely. The procedure causes little to no pain in infants, so anesthetic is not usually required for children under six months of age. Laser surgery offers several benefits compared to cutting the frenulum; it cauterizes the incision, which minimizes bleeding and promotes healing.
Your child’s dentist may recommend physical therapy exercises be completed after a lip or tongue-tie release procedure to help restore a full range of motion and prevent the frenulum from reattaching. We have lactation consultants and Myofunctional Therapists on staff that can work with you to re-establish breastfeeding and help with any feeding or swallowing issues.
Making the decision to treat your infant’s tongue-tie can be a difficult one. Our dentists will give you the expert diagnosis and information you need to find the right treatment plan for you and your child. Altima Dental provides lactation support and tongue-tie release surgery at several locations across the GTA and Southern Ontario. Contact our Cambridge, Thornhill, Port Hope or Toronto Children’s Dentist office for a consultation.