For a little backstory: we have two children, who both had tongue ties. When our first was born and nursing did not start off well, I quickly learned about tongue ties and found out my daughter had one. After the release by a doctor in Cambridge, nursing immediately got better. (you can read more about our experience here)
With our second child, he also had a lip and tongue tie. This time it didn’t affect his ability to nurse, but as his teeth came in, we began to see his teeth crossing. We also noticed he had increased tension in his mouth. At 11 months we had his lip and tongue ties released. We watched a massive change in his face and the tension in his neck and cranium decrease.
Now by no means am I an expert on this topic.
So this month we are giving the spotlight to Dr. Mandeep Johal to discuss this important topic!
Dr Mandeep Johal is a mother of two and a general dentist, who resides in Guelph. Dr Johal had a tongue tie, along with her oldest son and her youngest son had a lip tie, so this topic is a personal one. The fact that she and her boys went undiagnosed for so long, even after being immersed in the dental field, helped her recognize that others were living limited lives because of their tongue ties too. Dr Johal is on a mission to help people identify issues associated with their oral restrictions, so they can get the right treatment sooner.
More about tongue ties from Dr Johal…
Simply answer the following questions to determine if your baby is tongue tied.
- Is the baby having difficulties in gaining weight?
- Do your breasts hurt? (sore/cracked nipples)?
- Is the baby feeding frequently?
If you answered yes, to any of these questions your baby may be tongue tied.
What is a Tongue tie?
A tongue tie is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. This is because the lingual frenulum (the band of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too short. Research shows 10 percent of babies are born with a tongue tie. Up to 25 percent of nursing infants can be affected by shallow latch caused by a tongue tie or lip tie.
What are the problems associated with a Tongue tie?
Tongue tie can cause challenges including an increased risk of a failure to thrive diagnosis or low weight gain, decreased milk production, acid reflux, pain, and ending breastfeeding earlier than you hoped. Older children may develop trouble chewing solid food, develop a lisp or speech problems, or develop a narrow upper palate, which can lead to airway related problems.
Why Laser treatment is best for Tongue/Lip Tie?
The laser technology replaces the use of a scalpel or a pair of scissors. This can make the procedure comfortable and quick for the infant. The CO2 laser used by Dr Mandeep Johal is the gold standard for an infant frenectomy. It allows for no or minimal bleeding at the treatment site. This results in better visualization of the posterior tongue tie and quicker healing times for the baby or child.
How long is the procedure?
The treatment time is less than one minute, with minimal pain (and minimal or no needed analgesics). The appointment is booked for one hour though. This is because Dr Johal and her team, like to take the time to educate the parents. Post op care review and how the baby feeds after the procedure is the most important part of the appointment.
What is the best approach for treating infant tongue ties?
Parents need to understand, the whole body plays a part in breastfeeding, not just the tongue and jaw. Dr Mandeep Johal recommends all infants should be seen by a Lactation consultant and Chiropractor or Osteopath that specializes in infant tongue ties. Together, we can provide the optimal results.
Contact Dr Johal
Contact Dr Johal’s team to see how they help you and your child at Family Dental Centre at 1482 Gordon Street in Guelph. Her number is 519-767-2729 and her website is www.familydentalguelph.com