Did you know?

Difficulty latching may be a sign of a tongue-tie.

Pain at mom's breast during breastfeeding, infants' struggling to feed from bottle or breast, spitting up excessively, swallowing air, or lagging behind expected weight gains could be signs of Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie conditions.


What are Tongue-Ties and Lip-Ties?

Ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie, is a congenital condition that affects some infants. It occurs when the lingual frenulum, the thin band of tissue beneath the tongue, is shorter or tighter than usual, restricting the tongue's movement. This can lead to challenges in feeding, as the baby may have difficulty latching properly and feeding efficiently. 

Likewise, a lip-tie occurs when the upper lip's frenulum, the band of tissue connecting the lip to the gum, is shorter or tighter than usual. This can restrict lip movement, potentially leading to challenges with feeding and oral development in infants.

How do we determine if the infant has a Tongue-Tie?

Many factors are involved, including an anatomical observation of the tongue shape and positioning as well as the appearance of the frenulum. Also, a functional evaluation shows us if the infant can lift the tongue to the hard palate, protrude the tongue out of the mouth, and move sideways, among other factors. We can assess and classify the tongue or lip tie based on specific criteria and suggest proper interventions as appropriate. We will also gather a detailed history of feeding difficulties and symptoms.
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Tongue-Tie: Cannot lift or protrude tongue out of mouth properly.

Laser Frenectomy

For Tongue and Lip-Ties

When feeding is inhibited due to a tongue-tie or lip-tie, we can perform a procedure called laser frenectomy to release the tie and improve the latch.   

Laser frenectomy offers numerous benefits for infants with tongue-ties and/or lip-ties. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser technology to produce a precise cut resulting in minimal bleeding and discomfort. Compared to traditional methods, it promotes faster healing, reduces the risk of complications, and allows infants to resume feeding more quickly.  All of this can be completed in our office in McAllen, TX. 

Important to note is the necessity of the stretches and exercises after the procedure.  Parents/guardians will be taught and will practice the necessary stretches for the infant in order to prevent the soft tissues from reattaching.  We will ensure that you understand how to do these for your infant to assist the post-care for the best success of the procedure.  

Laser Frenectomy since 2016

Blaine Hendrick, DC, FNP-C

Laser Frenectomy is performed at our office in McAllen by Blaine Hendrick, a Certified Nurse Practitioner.  He trained for the classifications and procedures through seminars at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dental Medicine in Boston Massagchuestts.  He was the first to bring laser frenectomy to McAllen, Texas, and the surrounding areas of the RGV, providing our local families with the benefits of laser frenectomy and eliminating the need to drive hours away.

Lactation Consultants

A Valuable Resource for Proper Feeding Positions and Techniques

Only approximately 10% of infants have an actual tongue-tie condition, and these are mainly genetic.  We recognize that many times, feeding difficulties may result from improper baby positioning during feeding.  Therefore, we work closely with lactation consultants to ensure proper feeding positioning and setup.  If a tongue-tie continues to cause problems, we can use bodywork (chiropractic and craniosacral therapy for neck/jaw/shoulder movement), laser frenectomy, or both as needed. 

Our area has several well-trained lactation consultants throughout McAllen and our Rio Grande Valley who are available to assist you in the hospitals, at home, and at the Lactation Care Center RGV in McAllen. 

Next Steps...

If painful breastfeeding, excessive burping, spitting up, milk leakage, flatulence, discomfort, and bloating are a common problem with your baby during feeding, wait no longer.

 Schedule today to find the relief you and your baby deserve.