Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Elyse's Double Frenectomy


Last Monday we finally took Elyse to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to get her checked for a tongue tie. I personally have one, the ENT called it a tethered tongue and when I was 13, just before I had my braces put on, I had to get my frenulum cut off.

A frenectomy is simply the removal of the frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues. There are two frena (plural form of frenum) in the mouth that can sometimes require the need to be removed. One of the frena connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth and the others connect the inside of your upper and lower lip to your gums.
My frenulum under my upper lip was cut because I had a MASSIVE gap between my two front teeth and the frenulum would have hindered my teeth closing by braces.  I also have a tongue tie but at the time, the ENT didn't clip it, should have but it wasn't medically necessary.
With each of our kids, I asked our pediatrician to check for tongue ties because of my condition, since they have my smile and all. But the pediatrician said that they weren't severe enough to require it. After talking with another doctor and realizing that the pain I was having while nursing on one side wasn't normal we decided to have Elyse checked. I never had any pain with the boys, but looking back I believe the reason why Collin wasn't as good at nursing was because he is also tethered quite a bit which led to him weaning way earlier than I wanted at 9 months old.
While at the appointment the doctor confirmed that she did have a tongue tie and she was clipped right then and there in the office. Easy little procedure and right when it was done she nursed right away, PAIN FREE! It was the first time since she was born I didn't have any pain. And since, she has been thriving on the breast. There was very little bleeding from her, and my breastmilk helped to speed the healing.

POINTS TO LOOK FOR WITH TONGUE TIES IN AN INFANT

1) Pain while nursing
2) Breast not being emptied efficiently or with effort
3) Dimple in the middle of the tongue when baby is sticking it out
4) Doesn't have a good range of motion with tongue
5) Square ended tongue

For the past week before every feeding, I have had to do a sweet under her tongue and under her lip to help promote movement and so that the tissue doesn't grow back together. Elyse obviously doesn't like it, but once she starts feeding she is fine. And if it is decided that this has to happen, it should happen before 6 months as that is when the frenulum start to thicken up more. We just barely caught the cut off. On a plus side, our little beauty has an even wider smile now!
We did have Collin checked but he is so much older, and the frena are thicker that it would require him to be sedated for the procedure and it would be cosmetic at this point unless it hinders with his speech and a speech pathologist recommends that he get it done. And so far, it isn't.

If you have concerns about if your child should have a tongue tie or not, speak with their pediatrician or check with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.

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