Laser Lip and Tongue Tie Frenectomies

Lasers in Dentistry

The use of lasers in pediatric dentistry has become increasingly popular in recent years. Soft tissue lasers are commonly used to release tethered oral tissues, including lip and/or tongue ties, to improve feeding and swallowing problems in both infants and children. They may also be used to remove excessive tissue (often to facilitate orthodontic treatment) and tethered oral tissues in adolescents, teenagers, and adults.

Symptoms associated with lip and/or tongue ties

Infant Symptoms:

  • Infant has nursing ulcer on lip
  • Clicking or gulping sounds while nursing
  • Gumming, chewing nipples, leaks milk
  • Easily chokes
  • Frequent release and relatch
  • Shallow latch
  • Long nursing sessions, falls asleep mid feed
  • Colic/Gas/Reflux
  • Poor weight gain or weight loss
  • Unable to hold a pacifier
  • Potential future speech, feeding, and dental problems

Mother’s Symptoms:

  • Pain while nursing
  • Thrush
  • Decreased milk supply
  • Cracked, blistered, bleeding nipples
  • Breasts don’t fully empty
  • Frequent mastitis
  • General nursing discomfort

Signs Associated with Feeding or Swallowing Problems in Children:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Problems chewing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Eating only certain types of food and refusing to try new foods
  • Wet-sounding voice after eating or drinking
  • Multiple lung infections

A tongue or a lip can be released using a laser in as little as 5 to 10 minutes and in most cases only requires topical numbing anesthetic. This allows your infant to breastfeed immediately following the procedure. There is little to no bleeding and minimal discomfort following the procedure. Older children may require local anesthetic and/or some level of sedation in addition to topical gel to ensure their comfort and safety during the procedure.