A tongue tie occurs when a thin piece of skin under the tongue is shorter than average. This can restrict the tongue’s movement making it difficult for babies to properly attach to the breast when feeding.
Some babies are able to feed normally, but some experience problems such as nipple damage and low weight gain. Mothers can also experience problems such as recurrent blocked ducts or mastitis due to ineffective milk removal.
Upper lip ties are where a piece of skin under the upper lip is very short or thick and is tightly joined to the upper gum. This can restrict movement of the upper lip, also making feeding difficult for babies, as they may have difficulty forming a tight seal with the nipple.
In older children and teenagers, upper lip ties can be associated with a gap between the front teeth called diastema. Generally, this is only a cosmetic issue.
River Oaks Dental is the only dentist in the area that is fully trained and equipped to properly care for these issues.
If you suspect your baby has a tongue or lip tie that’s causing breastfeeding issues, contact River Oaks Dental at either of our offices in Aitkin or Crosby, MN. We’ll be able to assess your baby’s mouth and provide information about whether a tongue or lip tie should be corrected.
Our Methods of Treatment
If we discern that a tongue or lip tie is indeed interfering with breastfeeding, we can release the tongue or lip to improve the baby’s ability to breastfeed.
The procedure is simple and takes as little as 1 or 2 seconds to complete. Your baby can usually breastfeed right after we’re done. We use laser technology to release the tongue or lip tie for quick, safe, and effective results.
You’ll often notice a difference in how your baby breastfeeds, and it’s possible that it could take 2 to 3 weeks for a complete improvement to be made. Breastfeeding immediately following the procedure also helps to stop any slight bleeding. It will distract the baby from any discomfort and acts as a numbing agent.