Hubbard Dental

Infant Tongue Tie Laser Surgery

Infant Frenectomy in Pinehurst, NC

Hubbard Dental provides infant frenectomy surgery in Pinehurst, North Carolina. An infant frenectomy, also known as tongue tie surgery or lip tie surgery, is a surgical procedure performed on newborns or infants to release the lingual frenulum or the maxillary frenulum so the lips and tongue can move freely and properly.

If your child needs an infant frenectomy in Pinehurst, NC, contact Hubbard Dental to schedule your consultation with Dr. Hubbard today.

What is a Tongue Tie?

A tongue tie is a condition in which the lingual frenulum—the piece of tissue that connects the tongue and the bottom of the mouth—is too tight and restricts tongue movement. This condition occurs while developing in the womb and may be due to genetics. A tongue tie can range from mild to severe and causes several problems for babies and mothers.

What is a Lip Tie?

A lip tie is similar to a tongue tie but occurs in the upper part of the mouth where the lips meet the gum tissue. A lip tie occurs when the band of tissue called the maxillary frenulum connects the upper lip to the gum tissue in the upper row of teeth, limiting movement and causing difficulty eating and speaking.

Signs of Tongue Tie or Lip Tie

A tight frenulum can make breastfeeding difficult for both the mother and the baby. There are several signs to look out for that may indicate that a baby has a tongue tie or lip tie.

Symptoms in Infants

  • difficulty breastfeeding
  • fussiness during breastfeeding
  • clicking sound during nursing
  • not properly swallowing milk
  • coughing or choking when feeding
  • difficulty bottle feeding
  • difficulty eating baby food
  • Infant pain while feeding
  • weight loss or inadequate weight gain
  • recurring thrush
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble sleeping
  • irritability or colic
  • gas/reflux
  • “Milk blisters”

Symptoms in Breastfeeding Mothers

  • maternal nipple pain while breastfeeding
  • nipple looks pinched, creased, bruised, or abraded after feeds
  • reduced breast milk supply
  • clogged milk ducts or mastitis

Infants with breastfeeding difficulties often need a frenectomy procedure to free up the range of movement in the mouth and tongue. This simple procedure can lead to successful breastfeeding and can prevent problems as the child grows and begins eating more solid food and developing language skills.

Other Problems Caused By Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

  • Trouble Eating: Older babies and children may struggle to feed themselves properly if they have a tongue tie. If you notice that your baby struggles to eat soft foods like baby food, this may be an indication that they have a tongue tie.
  • Breathing Issues: When the tongue’s range of motion is restricted, it can cause the airway to malfunction during sleep. If your child or baby snores while sleeping, or sleeps with their mouth open, this may be a sign of a tongue or lip tie. This can usually be corrected with a frenectomy.
  • Speech Issues: As your child grows older and begins speaking, you may notice your baby struggles with their speech patterns due to the tongue’s restricted range of motion. You also may notice that your child has a speech delay. Your child’s speech therapist or dentist may recommend a frenectomy to improve their speech.
  • Tooth Decay or Inadequate Spacing: If your child can’t clear food in the space between the tongue and the bottom teeth, they may have an increased chance of cavities. Also, crowding or abnormal spacing may be a result of a tongue or lip tie.

Infant Frenectomy Procedure

If you are having breastfeeding issues and suspect your child may need an infant frenectomy, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at Hubbard Dental, where our doctors can determine whether a tie is present and needs to be released. If this is the case, our dentist will refer you to a myofunctional therapist, IBCLC, speech-language pathologist, or other healthcare provider who can ensure the best results from the release. Myofunctional therapy is a form of physical therapy that involves exercises to train the facial and tongue muscles to improve speaking, eating, and breathing. Myofunctional therapy should be performed before and after the frenectomy procedure.

The procedure itself takes only a few seconds. The doctor will laser the band of connective tissue between the tongue and the gums using our SOLEA laser. Afterward, sutures may be placed, or the wound may be left open to heal by secondary intent.

Your child will be given a follow-up appointment approximately 7 days after the surgery to ensure that the frenulum hasn’t grown back. If the release has grown back together for any reason, a “deep stretch” will be performed to allow for maximum function.

Laser Frenectomy: SOLEA CO2 Laser

Dr. Hubbard uses advanced dental technology to provide the best oral health care for her patients. We use a CO2 laser called a SOLEA laser to perform infant frenectomies. Dr. Hubbard has advanced training from the Tongue Tie Academy with Dr. Richard Baxter, The Breathe Institute with Dr. Soroush Zaghi, and additional courses from Dr. Jared Poplin, and is highly skilled in this procedure.

Contact Hubbard Dental for Infant Frenectomy in Pinehurst, NC

Hubbard Dental offers a full range of general dentistry services, such as infant frenectomy for newborns, infants, and small children in Pinehurst, North Carolina. If you and your baby are struggling with poor breastfeeding, an infant frenectomy may correct the issue. If you would like to schedule your dental appointment, please call us at 910-718-9545 or request an appointment online.