Middletown Endodontist

Lip and Tongue Tie Laser SurgeryMiddletown, NY

You may not have thought much about tongue tie laser surgery in the past. But, if you have a newborn baby who is struggling to eat, you may want to explore this procedure. This process frees up the young child’s tongue movement and helps them get enough nourishment and strength. Our pediatric dentist is a good resource if you have questions about this operation or if you are considering it for your precious little one.

The surgery is not complicated or time-consuming. Still, it is helpful to understand how it works and why it is beneficial to both your child and you. The more you know about your baby’s surgery, the more comfortable you will feel about making the decision to go forward with the procedure.

Contact our office today so you can talk more about this surgery and schedule one for your son or daughter.

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    An overview of a tongue tie

    On the bottom side of the tongue is a piece of fleshy tissue known as the frenulum. The tissue connects to the floor of the mouth. Under normal conditions, the frenulum should not hamper tongue movement. However, some babies are born with a tongue tie. This occurs when the frenulum is too short or tight. When this happens, babies cannot nurse effectively because they cannot latch on well to the mother’s breast.

    Problems for the baby

    If a baby’s frenulum makes it difficult to move the tongue, feedings could be a problem. This can lead to a lack of nutrition and many health issues. Babies may also develop colic or reflux and may have trouble sleeping at night. Ultimately, the baby may be irritable throughout the day because of fatigue and hunger. Babies may not be able to raise the tongue without difficulty.

    Problems for older children

    Babies who do not undergo tongue tie laser surgery could have issues later in life. This condition can cause oral hygiene challenges such as tooth decay and gum disease such as gingivitis. It may be difficult for the child to use the tongue to sweep food out of the mouth as well. Another consequence of this condition is that a gap may form between the two front teeth in the bottom jaw. As toddlers begin to learn how to speak, the tongue tie may make it difficult to form some sounds and talk clearly.

    Problems for the mother

    Nursing mothers should consider doing a tongue tie laser surgery for their babies. This operation can help relieve pain for the mother as well. Without successful nursing, the mother’s breasts may swell with milk, causing discomfort and irritation. Tongue tie can lead to infections in the mother’s breasts as well. Also, babies may bite instead of suck when it is time to nurse.

    Putting off tongue tie laser surgery

    Babies with tongue tie can become ill due to not getting enough food. However, this condition affects adults as well. If the person never has the surgery, they will grow up struggling to eat certain foods and may not be able to participate in other activities such as playing instruments. Though people of any age can have this operation, many dentists recommend it with babies soon after birth.

    Deciding that it is time

    Often, doctors will identify tongue tie in the hospital before the baby goes home with the caregivers. The doctor or a pediatric dentist may strongly suggest doing the surgery immediately. However, other dental professionals believe parents should wait until the child is home. Interested parents should meet with the dentist to talk about the procedure. The dentist will explain the benefits of the surgery and how it will affect the baby. Parents should address concerns and ask questions during this meeting.

    The surgical process

    Parents love knowing that tongue tie laser surgery does not take long at all. Usually, the process lasts no more than 10 minutes, sometimes as few as five. Some dentists may use scissors or a similar tool. However, using a laser helps the dentist make a more accurate cut on the frenulum. There will be a short recovery period. Then, the parent can take the baby or child home.

    After the surgery

    All surgeries have risks to the patient’s health and well-being. Tongue tie laser surgery should not concern parents, though. There should be very little bleeding after the procedure. The dentist will not have to use stitches at the wound site either. The dentist also will not use a local anesthetic, and no other medication should be necessary. This is good to know for parents whose children have drug allergies.

    If the young patient does complain about pain, the dentist can recommend Tylenol or ibuprofen. Nursing mothers should be able to resume breastfeeding immediately after the operation. If the baby still continues to struggle to get suction and eating effectively, a parent should call the dentist right away. It may also be helpful to periodically stretch the baby’s or child’s tongue. The dentist will likely follow up with the parent about the surgery a few weeks later.

    Similarities to lip tie

    Tongue tie laser surgery often accompanies lip tie laser surgery. The two conditions are closely related. A lip tie occurs with the tissue connecting the upper lip and gum does not allow for much lip movement. This can also make breastfeeding a difficult activity for the baby and mother. This surgery is also quick and pain-free. Parents should speak to the dentist if the child has a lip tie along with a tongue tie.

    Check out what others are saying about our Lip and Tongue Tie Laser Surgery services on Yelp: Lip and Tongue Tie Laser Surgery Middletown

    A dentist can fix this

    In addition to providing wellness exams for teeth and gums, your dentist is worried about other mouth conditions. If your baby or child has tongue tie, there are ways to correct this issue and help make breastfeeding more successful. After a few short minutes, the young patient can speak more clearly and start having good oral hygiene once again. Even if you put off tongue tie laser surgery for your baby, it is not too late to ask our dentist to address this concern.

    Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry is located at 75 Crystal Run Rd Suite 235 Middletown, NY 10941.

    (845) 363-4177