A tongue tie is a congenital condition in which the bottom of the tongue is abnormally short. Tongue ties can result in problems with breastfeeding, speech, or even dental development. A frenulum is a band of tissue that connects one area of tissue to another. The frenulum at the bottom of the mouth connects the floor of the mouth to the tongue.
A tongue tie is a soft tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. It can affect a baby’s feeding in ways such as difficulty latching, poor weight gain, colic, gas, and more. At our office, we can perform a simple procedure called a frenectomy to release the tongue tie so your baby can nurse more efficiently. This procedure only takes minutes and only requires a local anesthetic to be numb the area. Your baby’s mouth will be completely healed in just a few days following the procedure. We recommend opting for the procedure as soon as possible to avoid complications with breastfeeding.
When a baby’s or child’s tongue is “tied” to the roof of the mouth, it can affect his or her ability to breastfeed properly. This can cause pain for the mother when breastfeeding and can even affect the child’s ability to eat solid foods.
An infant with tongue tie may exhibit the following symptoms:
Frenulectomy is a surgical procedure in which the lingual frenum is cut to release the restrictive muscle attachments, allowing the tongue to move more freely. A frenectomy is usually performed on infants who experience breastfeeding problems due to an abnormally short or thick lingual frenum. The procedure is sometimes referred to as a frenotomy as well.
Traditional surgical techniques involved making incisions in the baby’s gum and exposing the membrane before cutting the frenum free. However, new laser technology allows for less invasive treatment in which the tissue is removed without incisions. Laser frenectomies are often performed in-office and take only a few minutes to complete. Patients can return to the dental office the day after their procedure to resume normal activities.
Patients may experience some slight bleeding, discomfort, and swelling after their procedure, but these side effects are usually minimal and will resolve on their own within a few days. Many patients are able to breastfeed normally following frenectomy treatment. Children with tongue-tie may need follow-up treatments as their growth progresses to ensure optimal results.
The results of a tongue tie release depend on many factors, including the severity of the case. However, most babies who undergo this procedure enjoy an improved latch and feeding experience as well as decreased fussiness and colic symptoms.
To learn more about the benefits of tongue-tie release for your baby, contact us to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to meeting you and your little bundle of joy soon!
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9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland, 97223