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Lip & Tongue Tie (Frenectomy) in Franklin

If your infant or young child is suffering from lip or tongue tie, they may struggle to do even the most ordinary daily activities. Lip and tongue tie occurs when the frenulum, tissues that connect the tongue and the upper and lower lips to the mouth, create a connection that is too restrictive. From difficulty nursing as infants, to struggles with speaking, laughing, and smiling, a constrictive frenum can cause untold concerns for your child’s oral and overall health as well as their well-being and confidence.

Dr. Paige Prather has years of experience working with infants and children who suffer with lip and tongue tie. She is happy to work with nursing mothers whose children have lip or tongue tie, and often provides support and guidance to help them. She is also happy to offer a variety of treatments for your child including laser frenectomy, when necessary. Call to schedule your child’s lip and tongue tie consultation today to find out more.

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What Is a Frenectomy? Why Is It Necessary?

A frenectomy or frenotomy is the surgical procedure used to remove excess frenum tissue and allow the tongue and mouth to move naturally. Frenula are not only present in the mouth. These connective tissues are present throughout the body. Frenula should attach soft tissue together, but when they are too constrictive, the result is impeded movement. In the mouth, these constrictive frenula can cause a number of issues early on. In most cases, people notice lip and tongue tie concerns when breast or bottle feeding. Additionally, nursing mothers who have infants with lip or tongue tie are at increased risk for complications like mastitis, thrush, or blocked ducts. Frenectomy is recommended for those infants who have difficulty feeding, and for older children who struggle with speech, chewing, yawning, and other regular daily activities.


Lip and Tongue Tie Symptoms for Infants

In addition to difficulty developing natural mouth movement to form words, smile, and laugh, infants with lip or tongue tie may experience a number of other concerns including:


Lip and Tongue Tie Symptoms that May be Experienced by Mothers

It’s always difficult for parents when we notice our children are struggling with their health. In addition to the stress of this situation and the desire to help our children stay healthy, mothers with infants who suffer from lip or tongue tie may also experience a number of side effects including:


Lip and Tongue Tie Symptoms for Older Children

Many children who suffer from lip or tongue tie may not show any signs of concern as infants. However, as they grow, more concerns can arise. Some of the common side effects of childhood lip and tongue tie include:


Why Does Lip/Tongue Tie Affect Breastfeeding?

Constrictive frenula can impede an infant’s ability to make a successful latch during breast feeding. Severe lip and tongue tie may cause difficulty with pacifiers and bottles as well. Because the infant is not achieving the desired result, milk production, they may increase suction which can be extremely painful for nursing mothers, and your child still may not achieve adequate suction or nourishment while breastfeeding. Additionally, as your child struggles to latch on properly, they will likely swallow more air, and this can lead to digestive issues, excessive gas, and a constant struggle to achieve adequate nutritional levels.


How Is the Frenectomy Performed?

Dr. Prather has spent years helping infants, children, and parents tackle all of the challenges associated with lip and tongue tie. She has advanced training in frenectomy procedures including laser frenectomy.

If we determine your child needs a frenectomy, we’ll take plenty of time to discuss the procedure, how to prepare your infant or child for it, and how to care for them following treatment. The procedure itself is performed with a laser rather than traditional scalpel and suture technique. Dr. Prather has made a name for herself as the go-to frenectomy provider in the area because her skilled laser technique allows your child to get the care they need with less discomfort, faster healing time, and significantly decreased risk for reinfection. Following your infant’s frenectomy, Dr. Prather is also happy to work with you to establish a successful breastfeeding routine.