When a mother is breastfeeding, the mobility of the tongue is extremely important for both the baby and the mother. When the infant has a tied tongue, they are often unable to latch onto the breast deeply enough. In many cases the baby cannot get past the nipple to the areola. Lip and tongue ties cause problems for the baby including issues with the airway, feeding, speech issues and an altered bite or a malocclusion. An infant frenectomy effectively treats all of these issues.
This procedure addresses the way the tongue of the baby functions while providing the help necessary for the mother. The movement of the lips and tongue are only considered tied if the movement has been restricted and mobility has been affected. The best way to evaluate the baby is to place them on the lap of the physician with the head of the baby facing in the same direction as the doctors. It is important to understand every tie does not result in any issues or need to be corrected. Each individual case is different and requires a determination by the physician. The actual diagnosis is based on the function of the tongue as opposed to the appearance.
When the membrane beneath the infant’s tongue is restricting the tongue’s movement, the condition is considered to be a tied tongue. Every infant is born with a certain amount of this tissue. The tissue in five percent of newborn babies is too tight. This prevents the baby from moving their tongue properly.
A lot of babies with this condition have a membrane attaching the upper gums to the upper lip. This membrane is tighter than normal. This is referred to as a lip tie. This often prevents the proper movement of the lips for feeding. The baby is unable to achieve the necessary seal on the breast. These babies are often fussy and gassy when feeding due to the intake of excess air. This condition is treated with an infant frenectomy.
The Infant Frenectomy Procedure
During the procedure, the tissue beneath the upper lip or tongue is removed. This is usually accomplished with a laser. The treatment is safe, fast and provides the lip or tongue with more mobility. The procedure may also prevent health concerns including digestive issues, speech impediments and dental decay. Although a scissor can be used for the procedure, the laser offers more benefits including:
- Faster healing
- Minimal discomfort
- More precision
- The removal of the entire tie
If you are interested in having an infant Frenectomy performed for your baby, at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, VA, feel free to reach out to our educated staff. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!