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Tongue & Lip Tie Revision

What are tongue and lip ties?


The little bits of tissue called frenums (also known as frenulums), which attach the tongue to the floor of the lower jaw, can be so tight on some babies that they cannot move their tongues properly, affecting their ability to breastfeed, or even take a bottle or a pacifier. 


And babies who have lip ties - wherein a baby's lips can be attached to his or her gums, making it difficult to get a good grasp on a nipple - almost always also have tongue ties. 


Tongues and lips are only considered 'tied' if their movement is restricted, impairing mobility. It is important to note that many people have frenums which do not cause any problems at all. Each case needs to be assessed on an individual basis.


Are there different kinds of tongue and lips ties?


They range from Class 1 which are tiny, reaching only from the underside of the upper lip to the top of the gum, to Class 4, which have tissue connecting the lip to right under the gum ridge, located between the positions where the top front teeth will emerge.


How and why does it affect breastfeeding?


Babies who are tongue-tied may have problems latching securely to the breast, and may overcompensate by increased suction causing nipple damage and pain. When they can no longer maintain latch through suction, there may be a click and a slight loss of suction or the baby may completely detach from the breast. This may not only cause pain, but also affect the baby’s ability to adequately drain the breast, leading to supply issues. In severe cases, baby is really not able to attach at all.


How do you treat tongue and lip ties?


If you suspect that your baby has a lip or tongue tie, you will want to get it evaluated. Once a tongue and/or lip tie is diagnosed, Dr. Lauren can use her laser - without the need for anesthesia - to painlessly release and seal the revision instantaneously, with minimal bleeding and no risk of infection.


What is the recovery time and how soon after can my baby eat?


Amazingly, you will be able to nurse or bottle feed your baby immediately after the procedure, with many mothers noticing a difference in the way their babies nurse right away.


After a couple of hours, your baby's mouth will likely be a little sore, but an over-the-counter analgesic or homeopathic remedy should help alleviate any discomfort. Your baby may be fussy, so do not be surprised if your baby refuses to nurse during this time because of the soreness - but it is usually very temporary and resolves quickly. 

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