Breastfeeding difficulties?

A person holding a crying baby

Infant feeding issues are beyond frustrating. They can leave both mom and baby in tears, and for a good reason: baby is hungry, and mom is exhausted & worried about her little one getting enough to eat. Read on to learn our pediatric solutions to breastfeeding difficulties.

What Is a Lip Tie or Tongue Tie?

A lip tie or tongue tie is a membrane under the lip or tongue that limits oral mobility. In severe cases, a tie can cause long-term dental problems, underdeveloped speech, or significant feeding problems that last beyond infancy.

If you’re struggling with some of these common feeding problems in newborns, your baby may have a lip tie or tongue tie issue.

Further, a common practice among some pediatric dentists, after cutting the lip tie, is to have the parents pull on the upper lip tearing the cut tissue to prevent reattachment of the lip frenulum back to how it was before. Or to have the infant come back two weeks later, and the dentist pulls the lip tearing the tissue. These procedures cause unnecessary pain for the infant, upset the parents, and cause scar tissue rather than normal healthy gum tissue.

Why We Use Painless Waterlase Laser Treatment

Here at Orem Pediatric Dentistry, we use an exclusive Biolase Waterlase™ laser with a proprietary technique and bandage that prevents tissue reattachment, eliminating the lip pulling or tearing of the tissue. After healing, we always get normal healthy gum tissue rather than scar tissue on the surgery site. We have done over 5000 of these surgeries with excellent recovery.

Does Your Newborn Exhibit These Symptoms?

The following are the symptoms:

  • Colic
  • Baby Not Latching
  • Bottle Feeding Problems
  • Baby Refusing To Breastfeed
  • Clicking Noise When Feeding
  • Baby Struggles To Gain Weight
  • Difficulty Breathing While Feeding
  • Tongue Attached To Floor Of Mouth
  • Severely Limited Upper Lip Mobility
  • Baby Taking In Excess Air When Feeding
  • Acting Overly Fatigued Or Frequently Falling Asleep While Nursing
  • Excessive Gas Or Fussiness After Feeding

Signs of a Lip Tie

An infant lip tie occurs when the thin stretch of tissue behind the upper lip, called a frenulum, is too thick or stiff. A thick membrane can restrict movement and cause feeding issues.

When experiencing a lip tie, newborn babies struggle to latch correctly. You may find your baby refusing to nurse; sometimes, they struggle to bottle feed or hold a binky.

Not only can lip ties cause malnutrition in infants (or, at the very least, frustration with feeding times), but lip ties also increase the risk of tooth decay later in life. If you suspect you have a lip tie newborn issue, call us immediately to schedule a lip tie treatment.

Signs of a Tongue Tie

An infant tongue tie is similar to a lip tie. This congenital oral condition, also known as ankyloglossia, ties the baby’s tongue to the floor of the mouth, inhibiting mobility and causing latching difficulties.

If your baby is gagging, frequently detaching from the breast, or making a clicking sound while feeding, they could have an infant tongue tie problem. But this is good news because we can fix your infant’s feeding difficulties. It isn’t uncommon for lip ties and tongue ties to coincide. Your pediatric dentist can confirm whether your baby has one or both.

Tongue or Lip Tie & Breastfeeding Difficulties

Not only do breastfeeding babies with a lip tie or tongue tie exhibit the above symptoms, but mothers suffer their symptoms, too.

You may experience the following:

  • Mastitis or blocked milk ducts
  • Bleeding from gumming or improper latching
  • Breast and nipple tenderness during or after feedings
  • Frustration and fatigue from seemingly never-ending feedings
  • Engorged breasts after feedings, as though your infant barely drank anything.

Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Revisions

Typically, lip or tongue skin membranes recede and thin before birth. When this doesn’t happen, however, manual treatment is often warranted.

A tongue tie revision or lip tie correction is quite simple; and at Orem Pediatric Dentistry, it’s painless, too. Our state-of-the-art WaterLase treatment causes little to no bleeding, cauterizes the wound site, and eliminates the risk of infection. In fact, a lip or tongue tie correction is highly recommended by La Leche League to solve breastfeeding difficulties. Breastfeeding experts at the League confirm that the procedure causes little, if any, discomfort to the child.

After a lip tie or tongue tie procedure, a baby may display a little discomfort but should show near-immediate improvement with feedings.

Lip Tie Procedure & Tongue Tie Procedure

Lip Tie Procedure

A lip tie procedure, or laser frenectomy, carefully cuts the frenulum to allow greater upper lip mobility. The treatment is done in just a few short minutes and is virtually painless for the infant.

Tongue Tie Procedure

In the case of a tongue tie procedure, or lingual frenectomy, Dr. Howell uses the WaterLase to gently cut back the lingual frenulum, or the membrane that tethers the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. This tongue tie correction increases the tongue’s mobility and can eliminate infant feeding issues.

Final Words

A lip tied or tongue tied baby can cause breastfeeding difficulties but there’s hope for improving your little one’s ability to latch and drink correctly. Dr. R Bruce Howell and his team can now end your feeding frustrations. Most mothers report significant, immediate feeding improvement after a quick, painless procedure at our office. Contact us now to transform your feeding experience in as little as 48 hours.

Your Friendly Team at
Orem Pediatric

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