The benefits of tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery can positively affect your child’s health including increasing the ability to successfully breastfeed, as well as prevent possible dental problems associated with these anomalies. Tongue tie (ankyloglossia) occurs when the band of tissue (frenulum) that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is abnormally short, tight, or thick, resulting in restricted movement of the tongue. Lip tie is a similar condition involving the band of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum.
Tongue tie and lip tie often occur together and, due to their restriction of the tongue and/or lip, typically become evident when an infant experiences difficulty with breastfeeding. Laser tongue tie or lip tie release performed by Dr. Paul Rubin can improve your baby’s efficiency in breastfeeding and allow for a less painful nursing experience for the mother. Learn more about tongue and lip tie laser surgery in our dental topics.
Benefits of Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Laser Surgery with a Soft Tissue Laser
As an accredited laser dentistry surgeon, Dr. Rubin utilizes a state-of-the-art soft tissue laser in this highly precise procedure which essentially vaporizes the affected tissue rather than cutting the frenulum with a steel scalpel. During the quick, in-office laser frenectomy, the area around the frenulum will be numbed with an analgesic gel, and the specialized laser will be used to make a tiny incision, thereby releasing the tension.
The laser sterilizes the area (which results in less risk of infection) and stimulates healing through bio-regeneration. Laser energy seals the blood vessels so there is very little or no bleeding. The entire tongue tie/lip tie laser surgery procedure typically takes only a few minutes.
Other benefits of laser surgery for tongue tie/lip tie include:
- No general anesthetic needed
- No stitches
- Very little post-operative swelling or pain for most babies
- Extremely safe with a high success rate
Because tongue tie and lip tie can affect dental and jaw development, laser tongue/lip release surgery can improve:
Breastfeeding Benefits from Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Laser Surgery
Studies using ultrasound have found that babies who are tongue-tied use different, less effective movements while nursing than babies who are not tongue-tied. The tongue-tied motions can also be the cause of significant pain and damage to the mother’s nipple.
Tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery can:
- Enhance your baby’s ability to nurse
- Help alleviate breast pain during nursing
- Result in more successful breastfeeding
- Allow adequate stimulation to promote milk production
- Reduce discouragement while encouraging a positive mother/baby bonding experience
- Ensure that your baby is receiving adequate amounts of milk for proper growth
- Decrease the risk of breast infections
- Alleviate reflux, gassiness, and colic in your baby
- Lessen the frequency of nursing due to baby’s ability to be satisfied at each feeding
Dental Benefits of Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Laser Surgery
Laser surgery for tongue tie and lip tie can reduce the risk of future dental problems. A large frenulum connecting the upper lip can contribute to the creation of a gap between your child’s upper two front teeth (maxillary midline diastoma).
Some cases of lip tie can cause residual milk to pool under the baby’s lip, resulting in decay in the newly erupting teeth (early childhood caries). Tongue tie or lip tie that attach too closely to the gums can pull the gums away from the teeth. This pulling back of the gums can cause dental health problems and, in severe cases, tooth loss. Palatal development can be affected by tongue tie or lip tie, as well.
Soft tissue laser surgery for tongue and lip tie can be used to prevent these potential dental complications that can occur in conjunction with tongue tie or lip tie. Laser surgery can also be beneficial in overcoming speech impairment associated with tongue tie/lip tie.
What to Expect after Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Laser Surgery
Tongue tie and lip tie laser surgery is a relatively simple, quick, and painless procedure. Your baby can nurse as soon as he/she desires to do so after the surgery, however, it may take 30-45 minutes for any numbing medication to wear off.
Most babies show an immediate improvement in breastfeeding, although you should not be alarmed if your baby is hesitant the first day while he/she learns a new breastfeeding technique. Some mothers follow up with a lactation consultant for advice on the new nursing method.
Postoperative stretching will aid in preventing reattachment of the frenulum, as the mouth heals very quickly. Your pediatric dentist will provide you with age-appropriate stretching exercises to enhance your child’s speedy recovery from tongue tie or lip tie laser surgery. The postoperative stretches are simplistic and can be incorporated into a play session. Early intervention is key in many cases, especially if nursing difficulties exist.
If your child is displaying symptoms of tongue tie or lip tie, contact our office to find out if tongue tie or lip tie laser surgery can be the solution you are looking for.
If you feel like your infant or child is being affected by a tongue tie or lip tie and would like to arrange a pediatric dental consultation with a pediatric dentist at Frisco Kid’s Dentistry, please submit an online appointment request or call our office at 214-618-5200.