A frenum is a muscular stretch of tissue that connects and holds other tissues in place. Occasionally a frenum might be exceptionally short, thick, tight, or may extend too far down along the tongue or the gum and result in a lip tie or tongue tie. When a frenum is attached in such a way, it may interfere with the normal alignment of the teeth, speech impediments, and severe restriction in the movement of the tongue or lip. These issues can be corrected by a simple surgery called a frenectomy.
For a newborn, a lip tie or tongue tie can make breastfeeding difficult for the infant and painful for the mother because the lip or tongue’s limited movement prevents the infant from properly latching on and drawing milk from the breast. If left untreated, it can eventually impair the child’s nutrition, speech, and proper tooth/arch development.
Historically, this procedure was performed with a scalpel and sutures in a hospital setting. However, when performed with laser, the surgery tends to cause very little to no bleeding, does not require sutures, and often results in very little discomfort after the procedure. The Er:YAG laser that Dr.Eric Christensen uses eliminates the need for general anesthesia. The newborns that Dr.Eric treats can nurse immediately and moms notice a very significant difference both in the quantity that the newborn consumes as well as their personal comfort while nursing.