LASER Tongue and Lip Tie Treatment
Throughout the mouth there are tissue connections between the lips, cheeks, and tongue and the jaws of the mouth. These connections are called frenum. Sometimes, if these frenum are larger, thicker, or stronger than typically found, there can be a profound effect on the mouths' form and function. These effects can happen as early as at birth with proper latch issues hampering breastfeeding, to later issues with speech development, orthodontic positioning of teeth, and gingival recession. Treatment of a tongue or tip tie is known as a revision.
Dr. Laubmeier witnessed this problem first hand when his daughter was born with significant tongue and lip ties that led to latch issues and breastfeeding complications and his wife developing severe mastitis and a breast abscess. Although he revised his daughter's ties with a laser at 8 days old, resolving the latch issues and improving breastfeeding, his wife required surgery and her recovery was long. Due to this experience, Dr. Laubmeier decided to get further training in tongue and lip tie diagnosis and treatment in order to help others with this problem resolve their breastfeeding issues quickly and to avoid complications like his wife experienced.
Dr. Laubmeier worked with Dr. Greg Notestine to get further hands on training in infant tongue and lip tie diagnosis and revision with a laser. Dr. Laubmeier is a member of the International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals (IATP) in order to keep up to date on diagnosis and treatment as well. Using a dental laser the ties can be revised in a matter of a minute or two using only topical anesthetic. Recovery for the infant is quick and there is little if any post-operative discomfort.
Breast Feeding/Lactation Considerations
Laser treatment is not the only step in the process. Dr. Laubmeier recommends consultations with a Certified Lactation Consultant as well as potentially visiting a doctor specializing in cranial-sacral work or a chiropractor who works with infants to make sure that the tongue and lip ties are not the only issues.
Some signs of a poor latch during breastfeeding include but are not limited to are:
- Wounds on the nipple or pain in the nipple during breastfeeding
- Nipple shape is distorted after feeding
- Breasts don't feel emptied after feeding
- Recurring bouts of mastitis
- Excessive milk leakage from baby's mouth during feeding
- Clicking sounds during feeding
- Blistered or calloused lips on the infant
- Infant seems to be excessively gassy and/or experiencing reflux issues
- Regularly falls asleep during feeding and usually hungry again soon after
- Feedings seem to take a long time with short times in between feedings
If you or your infant experience any of these issues, Dr. Laubmeier recommends you seek out a Certified Lactation Consultant for an evaluation or call our office for an evaluation and consultation.
As children grow and develop, tongue and lip ties that may not have been an issue at infancy can cause problems with speech development. Usually a speech pathologist will be consulted and will help to determine if any revisions are necessary. Revision of the ties will aid in the proper movement of the tongue and lips to allow for the proper pronunciation of sounds.
Sometimes a lip tie can be so strong that it inhibits the movement of teeth during orthodontics. In these cases an orthodontist will recommend the tie to be revised so that the teeth can properly come together.
In some cases, a lip or cheek tie can be so strong that it pulls the gingival tissue down and causes recession at the base of teeth. Most often this is seen in the lower front teeth but it is possible at any frenum. A revision can release the tension on the gingival tissue and allow the gingiva to be at a healthy level on the tooth.