Modern technology allows us to use highly precise laser treatments to treat common issues in children including breastfeeding difficulties, lip and tongue restrictions, and other concerns related to speech or long-term oral health.
An infant’s struggle with breastfeeding can often be solved by a lactation consultant or bodyworker helping with posture and latching. However, there are cases when a baby’s lip or tongue are tethered in a way that makes nursing painful or ineffective. In these instances, a release (Frenectomy) of their lip or tongue attachment (frenum) may be necessary.
A frenectomy can help mothers relieve the pain of breastfeeding and regain healthy nipples and breasts, stimulate milk production by adequate stimulation, encourage bonding with her baby, and ensure adequate feeding and growth of the baby.
All frenectomy procedures are completed using a precision laser. This laser does not emit heat or water and cauterizes as it works. As a result, there is minimal trauma, bleeding, and scar tissue.
Frenum tissue connects the lower gums to the tongue and the upper gums to the upper lip. Abnormally sized frenum tissue may affect oral function, movement, and appearance. During a frenotomy, laser light vaporizes the frenum under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion. With very little discomfort and almost no bleeding, some babies and children sleep through the procedure. The laser sterilizes upon touch, reducing the chance of infection and stimulating healing.
The frenum attached to the tongue may sometimes be too large, restricting the tongue’s movement. Untreated, a prominent lingual frenum may lead to speech issues, misalignment of teeth, and inhibited jaw development.
The frenum attaching the upper gums and center upper lip may need to be treated if it hinders gum tissue development, causes alignment issues, or leads to a gap between the top middle teeth.
Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is the restriction of tongue movement as a result of fusion or adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A tongue-tie is therefore caused by a frenum that is abnormally short or attached too close to the tip of the tongue.
Normal tongue function allows a baby to latch adequately and breastfeed efficiently, promotes normal speech development, makes it possible for a child to self-cleanse the mouth during eating, allows adequate swallowing patterns, allows for proper growth and development, and it makes fun little things like eating ice cream, kissing or sticking your tongue out to catch snowflakes possible.
A lip-tie occurs when the upper lip remains attached to the upper gum. It can lead to problems with speech and eating habits, jaw pain and protusion, clicking jaws, difficulty kissing, licking lollipops or ice cream, a gap between teeth, pain with breastfeeding, and other oral health issues.
Both Tongue-ties and/or Lip-ties can create issues related to breastfeeding. A frenectomy can help mothers relieve the pain of breastfeeding and regain healthy nipples and breasts, stimulate milk production by adequate stimulation, encourage bonding with her baby, and ensure adequate feeding and growth of the baby.