Take Action To Prevent Tongue Tie Problems

  • February 14, 2016

Many people never have to deal with tongue ties, except in the metaphorical sense.

They can cause serious medical problems for babies (and adults) who experience tongue and lip ties, however.

All parents want their children to be happy and healthy. We understand that at Beaumont Family Dentistry, which is why we offer tongue and lip tie laser treatments for babies.

A simple treatment can save your child from a lifetime of difficulties.

Anyone who lives in Central Kentucky — Danville, Georgetown, Richmond, or anywhere else — is within driving distance of one of our dentist offices in Lexington. If your newborn has a tongue or lip tie, please let us help you.

What Is A Tongue Tie?

Everyone is born with a tissue under his or her tongue known as the lingual frenum. If your baby is born with a short frenum, then he or she is considered tongue-tied.

Tongue ties limit the mobility of your tongue, and they affect an estimated 10 percent of newborns. Tongue ties can be classified in a range from mild (Class I) to severe (Class IV).

Any tongue tie can cause problems, such as:

  • Feeding problems. A baby who has a tongue tie may not be able to create the necessary suction to nurse. 
  • Malnutrition. This relates directly to the difficulty feeding. If your baby cannot nurse correctly, he or she may not be receiving enough milk or the nutrients that come with it.
  • Trouble bonding. This is a problem that affects both the child and the mother, particularly if you are trying to breastfeed. If your child can’t feed correctly, it can be discouraging for both of you.

If tongue ties are not treated, new problems can develop as your child gets older. These can include:

  • Dental hygiene problems
  • Drooling
  • Problems eating solid foods
  • Choking or gagging on foods
  • Speech difficulties
  • Self-esteem issues

What Is A Lip Tie?

Just like you have a tissue under your tongue, you have a tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums. If this tissue limits the movement of your baby’s upper lip, then your baby has a lip tie.

As with tongue ties, lip ties can be classified as anything from mild to severe.

From a medical standpoint, lip ties can cause a lot of the same problems as tongue ties. It’s also possible for a baby to have both problems.

How Tongue And Lip Ties Affect Mothers?

We already mentioned that tongue and lip ties can affect bonding between mother and child, but that is likely a result of some of the other physical problems.

If your baby is not able to nurse correctly, he or she may injure your nipples in his or her attempts to feed. This can be painful for you.

It also may cause an infection in your nipple, or your ducts may become blocked. This can limit or even prevent your breast milk from being released.

And this can cause some mothers to feel depressed if they believe they are failing to feed their children.

Saving You and Your Baby From Heartache

Any parent will tell you that there is nothing worse than seeing his or her child suffering. For babies with tongue or lip ties, we have a treatment that will help them and their parents.

For patients who have been referred to our office, we can perform a non-surgical treatment using a laser. This may sound scary at first, but it’s actually safer and less painful than surgery. It also helps your child to heal faster when the treatment is complete.

During the procedure, you baby is swaddled. As he or she is being held comfortably, we use the laser to loosen the tissue under the tongue, lip, or both. When we are finished, your baby’s tongue and lips will have a full range of motion.

This will allow him or her to feed correctly. In fact, we will ask you to nurse after the procedure. This helps your baby relearn how he or she should feed.

We also can show you how to stretch the lip or tongue so the tie does not reform as your baby heals.

Stop The Problems Early

If you believe your baby has a tongue or lip tie, talk to your doctor. If the diagnosis is confirmed, ask for a referral to our office so we can treat you little one.

Life is full of problems already, but you can make life a little easier for your newborn by correcting the tongue or lip tie before he or she is older enough to remember having it.

To learn more, call any of our offices in Lexington or make an appointment online.

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