We are all born with tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Sometimes, this tissue is thicker, shorter or too tight and attached in a way that can prevent optimal function of the tongue, leading to associated issues in feeding, speech, swallowing and in some cases, ability to breathe properly. A thorough evaluation from a preferred provider can help diagnose a “tongue tie” or ankyloglossia and in some cases a “lip tie,” though they do not always accompany one another.
Often the signs and symptoms of a tongue tie or lip tie come to light when the infant is feeding, either breastfeeding or bottle feeding. These symptoms may include:
|Infant’s Symptoms||Mother’s Symptoms|
|Poor latch to breast or bottle||Pain/ Pinching|
|Slow weight gain/ Failure to thrive||Incomplete emptying after feeding|
|Excessively gassy/ colicky||Mastitis|
|Falling asleep at breast/ Increased feeding time||Shallow latch|
|Clicking noise while nursing||Misshapen nipples|
We work regularly with other members in our field such as lactation consultants, speech language pathologists, craniosacral therapists, and pediatricians for the best outcome for our patients. We strongly encourage you see a certified lactation consultant prior to visiting our office to ensure a better outcome for you and your baby.
After a diagnosis is made, we will perform a frenectomy or “release” of the restricted tissue if deemed necessary. This involves a procedure that releases the band of tissue under the tongue or upper lip to allow for increased range of motion, which allows for optimal feeding with the breast or bottle. Our office uses a LightScalpel Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser for the infant frenectomy surgery. By using this laser, the revision is completed by using “light energy” for optimal healing results, often requiring little to no pain medication afterwards.
Click for more information on LightScalpel.
We value the safety of our patients combined with the most up to date methods for optimal results. When you call to schedule, we will ask if your baby is currently under the care of a medical provider (pediatrician, PA, NP, etc.) and confirm that the baby has had a Vitamin K shot given at birth. We will also ask if you are currently working with a lactation consultant, as this is essential to the success following release. A release is not always the solution and may involve collaboration from other disciplines such as a feeding therapist, lactation, or craniosacral therapist.
We encourage feeding after treatment and will provide you with post-op instructions following the tongue and/or lip tie release. We will demonstrate these exercises for you and make sure you are comfortable doing them with your baby prior to leaving our office. Your baby may have some mild discomfort and/or swelling in the treated area afterward, but this should dissipate within 24 hours. If you choose to give the baby medication, it is very important that you check with your pediatrician PRIOR to administering anything to ensure your baby’s safety. We will follow up with you to see how you and your baby are doing and to see if you are working with a lactation consultant to increase success following release. We will also see the baby for follow up appointments at one week and three months after the initial procedure. As always, we are here for questions or concerns throughout the whole process.
Dr. Candace Zorn has a personal connection to this field and her overall goal is to help parents and babies reach their full potential. When she was a new mother with her first child, she went through a similar experience with her son and wanted to help educate others and give support where it is needed during this time. She has participated in extensive training in the use of the laser and tongue ties. This field is constantly evolving and we are always seeking the newest methods and research to help improve our treatment philosophy to better serve our patients. As always, please reach out with any questions.