Published: 05/13/2019

Baby with open mouth, showing tongue-tie and frena before a frenectomyBreastfeeding can be a challenge in the best scenario, but it’s especially difficult when your baby has tongue tie or lip tie. Tongue tie happens when the membrane beneath your baby’s tongue extends too far forward and limits the movement of the tongue. Lip tie is a similar condition that is typified by an upper lip membrane that is too stiff or thick to allow for normal movement of the lip. Both conditions affect the baby’s ability to latch on and breastfeed correctly. Fortunately, there are things you can do to treat tongue tie/lip tie and restore your baby’s ability to move his or her lips and tongue more freely.

The Frenectomy Process

A frenectomy is a very quick and simple procedure that involves the removal of the tongue or lip membranes (also known as frena). The best time to treat this condition is soon after the baby is born. If correction is not received by the time the child becomes a toddler, he or she could have a difficult time learning to speak. Dietary choices may also be affected by having one or more frena that are too tight and restrictive.

When Drs. Mario Canal and Ben Calem perform a frenectomy, they generally do the following:

  • Administer topical anesthetic to the area to numb it
  • Remove or clip the frenulum
  • Close the area with sutures

The entire process takes just minutes to complete, and recovery is generally mild and minimally painful.

How To Tell if Your Baby Needs a Frenectomy

There are many potential issues that can be caused by tongue tie/lip tie. Here are a few possible signs your baby may need to have one or more frena permanently removed:

  • Difficulty nursing
  • Weak suck
  • Poor weight gain or weight loss
  • Clicking noises when nursing
  • Snoring
  • Reflux or colic symptoms
  • Lip calluses

You may also notice milk leaking for your baby’s mouth due to an inability to suck or swallow effectively.

Schedule an Appointment

Problems from untreated tongue tie or lip tie can extend into adulthood. To help your baby thrive, schedule an appointment by calling Canal Calem Periodontics.

Talk to Us About an Appointment