A tight lower tongue frenum attachment may restrict the mobility of the tongue and appears as a cupping or heart-shaped tongue when the tongue is elevated. This can result in an inability to get the tongue under the nipple to create a suction to draw out milk.
Long term, a tongue tie can result in speech problems and/or issues later with transferring food around the mouth for chewing.
A tight upper lip frenum attachment may compromise full lip flanging and appear as a tight, tense, upper lip during nursing. This can result in a shallow latch during breast-feeding. Additionally the tight upper lip may trap milk, resulting in constant contact of the milk to the front of the teeth, and possibly lead to dental decay. If the frenum attached close to the ridge or into the plate a future diastema (gap between the teeth) can also occur.
Some babies can have tongue or upper lip ties and not be symptomatic. To know if the ties are a problem, we ask two major questions: “is the baby getting enough to eat?” and “ is nursing comfortable for the mother?”
Symptoms can be as follows:
- Poor latch
- Slides off nipple or falls asleep while trying to latch
- Frustration at the breast
- Colic and/or reflux symptoms
- Poor weight gain
- Continuous feedings
- Gumming or chewing of the nipple
- Unable to take a pacifier or bottle
- Creased, flattened or blanched nipples after nursing
- Cracked, bruised, or blistered nipples
- Severe pain when infant attempts to latch
- Incomplete breast drainage
- Plugged ducts or mastitis
Babies tolerate the procedure very well, and we try to ensure the discomfort is minimized.
It is common for babies to cry and/or act fussy during and after the procedure. Babies typically lose only a small amount of blood, if any at all. After the procedure you are free to nurse, bottle-feed and/or cuddle your baby, depending on your preference.
If your baby does swallow a small amount of blood, he or she may have brown spit-ups or stools after the procedure
Benefits of using a laser:
- Minimal to no bleeding allowing better visibility of the doctor
- Enhanced precision due to better visibility
- No need to inject epinephrine-based local anesthetic
- Complete removal of desired tissue
- Less trauma to underlying tissues layers
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Dr. Prince recommends natural remedies for pain relief such as Orajel naturals (no benzo-caine), coconut oil, and Hyland’s Teething Gel. You may also use Tylenol or ibuprofen. It is rec-ommended you perform these exercises to help aid in healing and increase mobility.
1. Let baby suck on your finger and play “tug-of-war” to build strength
2. Rub lower gum line of the baby’s mouth to encourage their tongue to follow your finger
3. Gently pull lip out and move back and forth