November 7, 2023
If you’ve noticed that your baby has challenges latching or falling asleep while breastfeeding, they could have a tongue or a lip tie. Many well-meaning but perhaps ill-informed professionals tell new parents that the problem will mend itself in time, but is that the truth? Because the issue impacts your child’s well-being, it’s important to know! Keep reading to learn more about his common concern and how your pediatric dentist can help.
What are Tongue and Lip Ties?
A tongue tie is the more common of these two potential issues. It’s a condition in which the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth (frenulum), is unusually short, thick, or tight enough to restrict tongue movement.
A lip tie occurs when the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums (maxillary labial frenulum) is too thick or short. It can cause problems while eating as well as impact a child’s appearance.
How Do I Know If My Child Has a Tongue or Lip Tie?
Some typical signs and symptoms in babies include:
- Difficulties latching.
- Fatigue while breastfeeding.
- Sower weight gain.
- Trouble breathing while nursing.
- Excessive spit up.
- Painful gas.
- Sleepless nights.
If your kid is exhibiting these symptoms, it’s time to seek professional assistance.
Will My Child’s Tongue or Lip Tie Resolve Itself?
Many parents are surprised to learn that a small flap of tissue is causing their newborn to be extra gassy, cranky, hungry, and restless. When they ask for help, they frequently hear that the unusually shortened connective tissue will expand in time, or even that their child will eventually fall, and the frenulum will rip naturally.
Unfortunately, this connective tissue essentially is comprised of fascia and type 1 collagen that’s resistant to traction or stretching. That means it won’t grow longer in time or with use and will remain in place until it’s taken care of properly.
How Does a Dentist Remedy Tongue and Lip Ties?
Fortunately, the fix is a relatively simple one. Your pediatric dentist can use a soft tissue laser to cut through the restrictive tissue to free your kid’s lip or tongue in a procedure known as a frenectomy. The high-tech laser reduces potential pain from the procedure and doesn’t result in much bleeding, so it’s a quick and convenient treatment. Furthermore, your baby’s post-op discomfort generally only lasts a few hours meaning that new mothers can resume breastfeeding almost right away.
If you’re wondering whether your little one is being impacted by a tongue or a lip tie, there’s no reason to delay. Call their pediatric dentist today and they can address any questions or concerns and provide possible resolutions.
About the Practice
At Midland Kid’s Dentist, two dental experts provide a full range of services to children at all stages of development, from infants to teenagers. They spend time getting to know your child and their unique oral health needs to provide the most effective treatment options, regardless of circumstance. If you’re interested in a possible frenectomy, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (432) 520-5437.
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