At Dino Dental, we regularly support families throughout the region to help their infants who have trouble nursing due to lip-tie and tongue-tie issues every day.
These parents can be under tremendous stress with a child who cannot nurse effectively and are often nervous about a surgical procedure in such a young child. For Dr. James, seeing the relief and joy on parents’ faces once the procedure is completed and the child’s nursing improves is priceless. Dr. James and Dr. Lauren utilized the procedure on their own infant daughter to allow Dr. Lauren and the baby to continue breastfeeding without excruciating pain.
A frenectomy (or frenotomy) is a procedure used to correct a congenital condition where the tongue frenum or upper lip frenum is too tight. When the tongue frenum is too tight it is commonly called tongue tie (or ankyloglossia). When the lip frenum is too tight it is commonly called a lip tie. Both can cause restrictions of movement of the tongue or lip preventing normal positioning during breastfeeding. A tight lingual or labial frenum may also be related to dental decay, spacing, speech difficulties or and digestive problems.
Tongue or lip ties can cause difficulties with breastfeeding. Tongue and lip-ties are relatively common – they can affect anywhere from 5-10% of the population. Your lactation consultant, doula and/or doctor will look at your baby’s tongue and/or lip to determine if they have a tie. If your baby has a tie and you are having pain with breastfeeding, your practitioner may refer you for an infant frenectomy. At your dental visit, the severity of the lip and/or tongue tie will be assessed. A frenectomy may help improve symptoms, decrease breastfeeding pain and/or improve your infant’s latch.