What is a Tongue Tie?
Also known as Ankyloglossia, a tongue-tie occurs when a band of connective tissue on the bottom of the tongue is attached too forward and restricts the proper movement of the tongue.
The tell-tale signs of a tongue tie are:
- Difficulty latching during breastfeeding
- Noticeable gaps or spaces in the child’s bottom front teeth
- Speech problems, mainly regarding the t, d, z, s, th, n, and l sounds
- Issues maintaining a healthy mouth
Tongue ties are most commonly diagnosed by a pediatrician through a physical exam of the mouth. Your doctor will likely refer you to a lactation specialist or a pediatric dentist specializing in laser services like Coastal Kids Dental & Braces.
The lips are attached to the gum tissue with a band of connective tissue called frenum. If the frenum is attached too closely to the gums, it can restrict the movement of the lip. A lip tie differs from a tongue tie because, in some cases, it can go away on its own. Just like with a tongue tie, a lip tie is often diagnosed by your baby’s pediatrician, who will recommend a frenectomy procedure if necessary. Lip ties are most commonly diagnosed in babies, so breastfeeding moms may notice:
- Difficulty latching
- Exhibiting poor weight gain
- Difficulty breathing during feeding
- Cluster feeding
- Making a clicking noise while feeding
Consult your pediatrician if you are experiencing any of the above and schedule an appointment with Coastal Kids Dental & Braces to learn more about our laser services for tongue and lip ties.
Why Does My Child Need A Tongue Or Lip Tie Correction?
Symptoms of a tongue-tied infant during breastfeeding and bottle feeding include:
- Inability to latch
- Unsustained latch
- Poor endurance
- Excessive gas/hiccups
- Constant nursing
- Poor weight gain
For toddlers eating solid food, symptoms include:
- Choking while eating
- Poor weight gain
- Diet selectivity (soft food only)
- Poor lip closing
- Inability to consume age-appropriate foods
For children learning to speak:
- Frustration with communication
- Inability to produce certain sounds
- Avoidance of certain words
- Unwillingness to speak
You may also notice the following dental/oral effects:
- Lower teeth inverted
- Diastema (space) between upper and lower front permanent teeth
- Tooth decay due to inability to move lip for adequate toothbrush placement
- Open bite
The Frenectomy Procedure For Children
Tongue ties and lip ties are corrected through a laser procedure called a frenectomy. Using industry-leading technology, our experienced pediatric dentists perform frenectomies with ease and the comfort of your child in mind. During a frenectomy procedure, a laser is used to make a simple, precise incision that loosens the connective tissue and corrects the tongue and/or lip tie.
This simple and virtually painless laser procedure treats a variety of problems with a patient’s gums, tongue, lips and lining of the mouth. This state-of-the-art laser technology can help reposition frenum pulls between the front teeth, correct tongue or lip ties, and heal canker sores (apthous ulcers). With the use of the laser, these concerns can be easily addressed and quickly repaired right in any of our 9 Charleston pediatric dentist offices, without sedation in most cases.
Contact us today to schedule your child’s free consultation with one of our smile specialists!
The Benefits Of Tongue Or Lip Tie Correction
Laser correction provides a safe and simple way to correct tongue and lip ties, providing lifelong benefits for the patients. For infants, increased mobility of the tongue and lip improves nursing and bottle feeding. And as children grow, it also makes eating, drinking, speaking, and smiling easier!
With the use of a laser, the risk of post-operative bleeding or infection is significantly reduced, ensuring a much quicker recovery. While some mothers notice an improvement right away, sometimes children need time to retrain their brain, lips and tongue to function properly.
To learn more about laser correction for tongue and lips ties, watch the video and get in touch today so we can answer all your questions!