About Tongue and Lip Ties

Do you have a newborn and feel like breastfeeding is not going the way you had hoped it would? Don’t worry – you’re not alone!

We see patients and parents in our office regularly that have had issues with the following:

  • Short feeding times
  • Problems getting baby to latch
  • Inconsistent weight gain for baby
  • Frequently using a nipple shield to prevent painful blisters
  • Cracked and bleeding nipples
  • Shortened milk supply
  • Being told the problem is acid reflux with no help from reflux medications
  • Sleepless nights

As it turns out, a large majority of those patients were lip and/or tongue-tied. This is a problem where the frenum (a normally thin and very elastic piece of muscle tissue connects the lips and the gums together and the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is restrictive and prevents proper movement of the lips and tongue.

Not only can this cause the above problems and challenges but also further growth and development issues down the road.

These restrictions not only affect the baby during infancy, but as they grow, it affects their speech, chewing, swallowing, breathing, and can cause large gaps between teeth as well as gum recession.

What to Expect at Your Visit

To begin, we will do a consultation to evaluate the symptoms and conditions that the mom and baby are having currently.

Our team will take pictures in order to diagnose the lip and tongue tie classification. Afterward, we will thoroughly walk through the process for the parents for the immediate aftercare, which is part of a two-week postoperative care program.

Immediately after the laser release is performed, we allow time for the baby and the mom to feed. There are many benefits of this but it helps to prevent oral aversion for the baby after the laser procedure has been performed.

We want to follow-up to make sure that everything is healing well so we include a two-week postoperative appointment to evaluate the baby and also discuss improvement in the symptoms with the parents.

Laser Treatment vs. Conventional Treatments

Although hearing the word "laser" may send up a red flag, the reality is that the laser energy is much gentler and kinder for the tissue than other conventional treatment methods.

There are no stitches or sutures required and the healing is much easier and faster as well.

Because of this, we do not do any numbing so that the baby can properly feed immediately after the procedure. We see many benefits including the actual breast milk acting as an analgesic for the babies.

Your Local Laser Dentistry Specialist

Dr. Ford Gatgens has gone above and beyond in his training to be certified with lasers. He has earned his fellowship in the World Clinical Laser Institute (WCLI) and also a fellowship/standard proficiency in the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD).

This means that Dr. Gatgens has not only taken many tests on laser dentistry but also taken many hours of continuing education in the laser field as well. He's presented specific laser cases and had an oral examination.

Our goal is to educate the parents so that they understand this is not a decision that only affects the baby's teething but also will affect the baby's growth and development long-term. By properly diagnosing and releasing lip and tongue ties, your infant will be set up for success as they grow into a toddler and child.

Dr. Gatgens performed his very first laser lip and tongue release on an infant on his very own son, Charlie. Charlie had amazing results. All the challenges he had with eating and with acid reflux decreased. Charlie is now 2 1/2 years old and is thriving and very healthy!

Schedule a Consultation and Receive Same-Day Treatment

Remember, you can set up a consultation, and we can do the treatment the same day for infants, children or adults, too.