You may have heard someone described as being tongue-tied in a particular situation. In general, this is meant to describe someone who is too shy or embarrassed to say something.
However, tongue ties and lip ties are real medical conditions that can have detrimental effects on newborns, as well as children and adults if the condition is not treated.
Fortunately for families in Central Kentucky, you are close to a dentist office in Lexington that can help if a tongue or lip tie is affecting your infant.
Beaumont Family Dentistry offers laser tongue tie treatments that can save you from emotional distress and your child from a lifetime of difficulties.
If you notice your baby is showing signs of a tongue or lip tie, please call us so we can help.
Symptoms Of Tongue And Lip Ties
We want to start by explaining what tongue ties and lip ties are.
Each of us has connective tissues that link our tongues to the bottom of our mouths and our lips to our gums. These tissues are called frenulum.
The location of those tissues affects the range of movement of our tongues and our lips. For most people, this isn’t an issue. However for about 10 percent of the newborns, this can cause problems.
One of the main concerns about tongue and lip ties is that they can interfere with your baby’s ability to feed. If you are a mother who is breastfeeding, it can affect you, too.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- Does your baby have difficulty latching onto a nipple to feed?
- Does your baby feel like he or she is gumming or chewing your nipple while trying to feed?
- Is your baby having difficulty gaining weight?
- Does your baby choke or gasp for air while feeding?
- Does your baby make clicking sounds while sucking?
- For the mother, are you nipples cracked, blistered, or bloody?
- Does nursing cause you discomfort?
- Do you have plugged ducts in your breasts?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, please talk to your pediatrician. We accept referrals to treat tongue and lip ties in our office.
This can be an emotionally difficult experience for parents as well. If your baby is not feeding or growing how you would expect, it can make you wonder if something is wrong.
The good news is you can get help.
Consequences Of Untreated Tongue And Lip Ties
In addition to what we alluded to earlier in our list of questions, tongue and lip ties can have long-term detrimental consequences for children and adults.
A child with a tongue tie may have problems chewing his or her food. He or she may experience delays in speech development and speech impediments.
This can lead to self-confidence and behavioral problems as well.
Lip ties also can affect speech development and habits. They can interfere with tooth development as well. This can lead to spaces between teeth and increased risk for oral health issues.
In the long-term, the emotional effects of tongue and lip ties may affect emotional development and social relationships as well.
However, you can help you child avoid these concerns by taking action to remove the tongue or lip tie during infancy.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we used a dental laser to treat infants with tongue or lip ties.
This treatment is simpler and easier for your and your baby. A surgical treatment may involve sedating the baby and cutting the connecting tissue with a scalpel. This also lengthens recovery time, and it may require sutures.
With our dental laser, we can treat your baby in a less complicated way. After your baby is swaddled, we are able to use the laser to painlessly loosen the tissue.
After the treatment is complete, we recommend that the mother nurses the baby in our office. It may take your baby a few minutes to learn how to nurse correctly, but our team can show you how you can help your baby adjust.
We also will show you what you can to do to prevent the tissue from growing back together. In a short time, the tissue should be healed, and your baby will be able to eat more easily.
Happy, Healthy Babies
We love seeing happy, healthy babies in our office, and we enjoy seeing the looks on parents’ faces when their infants are able to feed correctly.
Please contact any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington if you have any questions or you are ready to make an appointment. Whether you live in Nicholasville, Winchester, or anywhere else in Central Kentucky, we are here to help you and your baby.