Is your child having speech or nursing difficulties? Many infants, and even teens and adults, can have an easily-treated condition known as “tongue tie” or “lip tie.”
In your own mouth, you can feel a muscular attachment between your upper lip and gums as well as underneath your tongue. In some patients, these anchors (also known as frenum) are too short and restrict the motion and movement of the lips and tongue. At Acorn Dentistry For Kids, these conditions are treated simply and quickly by Dr. Tim Richardson.
Advanced Laser Treatment
If Dr. Richardson feels that your child’s frenum is restricting movement and causing issues, he’ll likely recommend a quick frenectomy. At our office, we don’t use a scalpel so there are no stitches needed and your child likely won’t even need a local anesthetic!
With our cutting-edge laser treatment, your child will enjoy better oral movement, faster procedure results, minimal healing time and almost zero chance of infection. In fact, a frenectomy often takes less than ten minutes to complete and your baby can be breastfed immediately after the treatment. We think that’s something to smile about – and our patients (and their parents) tend to agree.
Symptoms of Tongue and Lip Tie
In teens and older adults, a restrictive frenum may cause speech, smiling or eating difficulties. In infants, symptoms are different. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Silverton office if you notice any of these signs in your infant:
- Problems with breastfeeding or bottle feeding
- Poor latch when nursing
- Being unable to hold a pacifier or bottle in the mouth
- Falling asleep while trying to latch for nursing
- Insufficient weight gain
- Issues with gassiness (caused by swallowing air due to poor latch)
- “Gumming” or chewing motion when trying to nurse
- Choking on milk or gasping for air while nursing
- Excessive drooling
Left untreated, a baby may become colicky, have reflux, and suffer from lack of sleep (and likely you will, too). Speech difficulties, gaps between the teeth or jaw issues can even occur over time. A tight frenum may even interfere with your baby’s ability to completely clear their mouth of milk, encouraging a first cavity in their brand new teeth.
If you’re a nursing mother, you may notice pain and discomfort when breastfeeding, suffer from mastitis or have difficulty with your milk supply. If you’re worried about your baby’s smile, let us know. We offer free exams for patients under the age of two.
Help With Speech Therapy
Is your son or daughter struggling with a speech impediment that they are seeing a speech therapist or pathologist for? In some cases, a frenectomy (along with recommended exercises) can help aid in lip and tongue movement, for clearer speech.
The Pain-Free Option
Compared to traditional tongue and lip tie surgeries, advanced laser treatment is the preferred alternative. Most patient experience little-to-no discomfort, meaning the need for local anesthetic is reduced. If your older child is feeling a little nervous about their procedure, we also offer a wide range of comfort sedation options, to ensure a relaxed visit.
Don’t Wait for Treatment!
Whether your child is a day old or heading off to college, if a lip or tongue tie is creating problems, Dr’s Richardson’s state-of-the-art laser treatment can treat it quickly and easily. Call today to schedule a same day consultation at Acorn Dentistry For Kids.