Treatment for Tongue & Lip Ties

If your child has problems with feeding, speech, or oral development due to lip-tie or tongue-tie, Dr. Jeff Ward and Dr. Brian Platt can perform a frenectomy. We use advanced dental lasers to gently release the restrictive tissue in a minimally invasive procedure with quick healing.

The Effects of Tongue & Lip Ties

We see patients and parents in our office regularly that deal with:

  • Short feeding times
  • Problems getting baby to latch
  • Inconsistent weight gain for baby
  • Frequently using a nipple shield to prevent painful blisters
  • Cracked and bleeding nipples
  • Shortened milk supply
  • Being told the problem is acid reflux with no help from reflux medications
  • Sleepless nights

Frequently these patients have a lip-tie and/or a tongue- tie. This is a problem where the frenum (a usually thin and very elastic piece of muscle tissue that connects the lips to the gums, and tongue to the floor of the mouth) is restrictive and prevents proper lip and tongue movement.

These restrictions affect the baby during infancy and as they grow, may affect their speech, chewing, swallowing, and breathing, and can cause gaps between teeth and gum recession.

What to Expect at Your Visit

You'll start with a consultation at our Fayetteville office to evaluate the symptoms and conditions of mom and baby. Our team will take pictures to diagnose the lip and tongue tie classification and thoroughly discuss any suggested procedures.

If a procedure is recommended, we'll walk through the immediate aftercare process with the parents, part of a 2-3 week postoperative care program. These post-operative stretches are critical to achieving desired results.

Immediately after Dr. Ward or Dr. Platt performs the laser release, you'll have time to feed your baby. This has many benefits, but it helps prevent oral aversion for the baby after the laser procedure.

Finally, we generally recommend a follow up appointment with your lactation consultant within a week and any follow up visits to our office as needed.

The Benefits of Laser Frenectomies

Some of the advantages of laser frenectomies over the conventional scalpel or scissor method are:

Minimized Bleeding

As it vaporizes the tissue, the laser seals small blood vessels. This great reduction in bleeding makes surgical procedures quick and easy with no need for sutures.

Less Swelling & Discomfort

The laser beam seals lymphatics, resulting in less postoperative swelling and discomfort associated with traditional scalpel surgery.

Reduced Risk of Infection

The sanitizing effect of the laser reduces the risk of infection and means faster healing.

Shortened Procedure Time

Using a dental laser provides less bleeding, improved visibility, and precise tissue excision, reducing the duration of the procedure.

Faster Recovery

Reduced trauma, minimized bleeding, and less pain and swelling, all lead to fast and efficient healing.

Laser Treatment vs. Traditional Methods

Although hearing the word "laser" may send a red flag, the reality is that laser energy is much gentler for the tissue than conventional treatment methods.

No stitches or sutures are required, and the healing is much easier and faster. Because of this, we don't do any numbing so the baby can properly feed right after the procedure. This has many benefits, including breast milk acting as an analgesic for babies.

Post-Surgery Care

Post-operative stretches are critical to achieving desired results. The natural healing process will allow the cut tissue to heal back together. To prevent this from happening, Dr. Ward or Dr. Platt will discuss necessary at-home stretches for the lip and/or tongue.

If your child has discomfort after surgery, have them suck on your finger with breastmilk or sugar water. Try to relax your child before nursing to help them adjust.

Schedule an Appointment to Correct a Tongue Tie

The frenectomy procedure, followed by postoperative stretches and exercises, improves mobility and function, allowing your child to eat, speak, and thrive.

Schedule a dentist appointment in our Fayetteville office to determine if your child has a tongue tie and how laser frenectomy treatment can help.