Frenectomy: Tongue & Lip Ties

Diagnosis: a multi-disciplinary approach

The remnants of embryological tissue at the midline on the underside surfaces of the tongue or lip that restrict normal function of the lip or the tongue are commonly referred to as frenum. Down played by many and undiagnosed by the ill trained professional, these tethered oral tissues play a significant role in nursing, speech and maxillofacial growth and development.

As the future site of the Westchester Tongue Tie Center, our doctors work closely together with lactation specialists, myofunctional therapists, speech therapists, craniosacral therapists, pediatricians and orthodontists to achieve the best possible outcomes. It has been sited, again and again in journals and by leaders in the field of tongue and lip ties, that the most favorable outcomes are achieved by a multidisciplinary team.

Symptoms: importance of early treatment

Treating tongue or lip ties is a surgical procedure that has numerous benefits. Undiagnosed, however, tongue ties can lead to some immediate issues such as poor latching, poor feeding, difficulty gaining weight, gagging or chocking while feeding, nipple fissures, and reflux symptoms to name a few. Breastfeeding shouldn’t feel like a full-time strenuous task, it should feel natural and comfortable for both the infant and the mother alike.

For older patients, tongue ties can cause dental crowding, speech delays or difficulties, or a molar x-bite. The tongue is a very important muscle that helps shape the maxilla and palate. Alternatively, lip ties when treated late can cause large gaps between the front teeth as well as surface decay of the front incisors. Braces can close these gaps, however, with time the short frenum wins and the gaps can reappear later on.

Our doctors, with the help of lactation consultants, myofunctional therapists, speech therapists, and trained orthodontists, will guide you from diagnosis to treatment for a successful recovery.

Below are a few before and after images that demonstrate the success of our technique and the minimal tissue scarring achieved by using our state-of-the-art medical grade soft tissue laser:

Therapy: laser surgery

For the longest time, historically tongue or lip ties were frequently released by nurses or midwifes right after birth. Today, if such ties are present and impede nursing, the ear, nose and throat physicians at the hospital have often taken the role to provide releases to facilitate nursing right after birth using scissors. However, we have come a long way with the advent of medical grade lasers that are now increasingly replacing scissors for the most part.

The advantages of using a CO2 laser are numerous. The interaction of our laser with the soft tissues allows for better healing which intern minimizes unfavorable scar tissue. The releases are faster, pain free, and with little or no bleeding!

To learn more about our medical grade laser click here. The following video will help you understand more about Frenectomy. (Video from MUVI)

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