Tongue Tie and Frenectomies
If your baby is not latching on, it may be due to a condition called ankyloglossia, otherwise known as tongue tie. Tongue tie is a medical condition that is present at birth. It restricts the tongue’s range of motion. This restriction is caused by an abnormally thick and short lingual frenulum (The frenulum of the tongue is the soft tissue that connects your tongue to the base of your mouth).
The degree of severity of tongue tie varies from mild cases, where the lingual frenulum loosens over time or severe cases of complete ankyloglossia where the tongue is stuck to the floor of the mouth. Sometimes a lip tie can occur where the frenulum is attached low on the gums.
Tongue tie or lip tie can complicate breastfeeding/chestfeeding because it may not allow your baby to open the mouth widely enough to latch on at the correct angle or make a good seal around the breast. A lactation specialist, nurse or physician can perform an assessment to determine if your baby has a tongue-tie which can lead to difficulty breastfeeding/chestfeeding.
Depending on severity, further consultation for a simple and quick surgery may be suggested. The surgical procedure most commonly recommended is called a frenectomy; which can be done with or without anesthesia. A physician will examine the frenulum and then use sterile scissors or a laser to cut it free.
We offer frenectomies in an outpatient setting. Procedures are performed by our highly trained dentists, using laser technology. The procedure is quick, painless and there is very little or no bleeding. After surgery, the infant’s tongue movement should improve greatly and in most cases breastfeeding/chestfeeding begins immediately.
Your staff in the Mother-Baby Unit will help you assess for this condition and refer you to our dental clinic.
The dental clinic can be reached at 718-206-6980.
Jamaica, NY 11418