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Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment

Are you trying to breastfeed your baby with little success? Does nursing leave you with sore nipples? Is your baby failing to thrive or grow? In these situations, struggling to feed your child “the natural way” can be stressful and not seem worthwhile. However, before you decide to stop trying to nurse, you should bring your little one to our Texas Dentistry. The reason behind your issues could be a simple problem: a lip or tongue tie. Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution, and our team offers lip and tongue tie treatment in Terrell.

How Do Lip and Tongue Ties Develop?

mother having discomfort while breastfeeding her baby

During development in the womb, various tissues form and then disappear before birth—the frenulum, which is the tissue beneath the upper lip and underneath the tongue, is one that is supposed to diminish prior to the baby making his or her debut. For unknown reasons, this doesn’t happen for about 4 to 11 percent of infants.

Why is it Important to Treat Lip & Tongue Ties?

child with open mouth showing a tongue tie

When a nursing mother and baby experience setbacks with nursing, parents may prematurely think they have to quit breastfeeding and switch to bottles. However, once a lip or tongue is resolved, there is often fast improvement after treatment, which allows nursing to continue with less discomfort for mom and more success and growth for baby.

For some, bottle feeding is still possible, so the problem goes undiagnosed. Later on in life, however, a child with a lip or tongue tie could face difficulty when eating solid foods because lateral movement of the tongue helps direct foods within the mouth. They could also develop a speech impediment, hindering their confidence and communication. Throughout childhood into adulthood, an untreated lip or tongue can even lead to sleep apnea.

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment

lactation consultant with a nursing mother and baby after treatment

To resolve a lip or tongue tie, we perform a procedure called a frenectomy. First, we may give the patient a local anesthetic to make sure they feel no discomfort. Then, using either a scalpel or surgical scissors, we will sever the excess tissue. Immediately following the frenectomy, the patient may have some bleeding, but it should subside soon afterward. Before you leave, we will give you additional instructions, and we may refer you to a lactation consultant, speech therapist, or other specialist to help the patient improve their oral function.

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Terrell Mesquite Kaufman