In about 4% of infants, a condition called tongue-tie or lip-tie can occur, which our pediatric dentist, Dr. Andrea VanCleave, may then recommend a frenectomy to fix. The condition is the result of too-thick tissue either under the top lip or the tongue. A frenectomy is a quick procedure, only lasting about 15 minutes, but can help free the area for movement, prevent misalignment of the teeth and make breastfeeding more comfortable and effective. When you meet with our dentist and team, we will be able to determine if a frenectomy in Olympia, Washington, is necessary, so please give us a call at 360-352-3515 if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below.
We can even check and treat infants who are only a few days old!
A tongue-tie is when a thick band of tissue under the tongue binds an infant’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth. This tissue, the lingual frenulum, generally separates before birth, but sometimes does not, for unknown reasons. This can lead to difficulties and pain when breastfeeding, as well as other issues with overall oral comfort and speech development. If your child has had problems breastfeeding or an older child complains about tongue discomfort, then tongue-tie might be the culprit.
Lip-ties are very similar to tongue-ties but are a result of the tissue behind the upper lip, the labial frenulum, being too thick and inflexible instead, preventing the upper lip from moving freely. This condition can make breastfeeding very difficult, resulting in pain and discomfort for the mother and a lack of healthy weight gain for the infant. If you have noticed that your infant is not gaining weight, is constantly hungry but never seems to be satisfied, often falls asleep while nursing or other complications, please contact us today.