Ankyloglossia, better known as a tongue-tie, is among the most common obstacles nursing mothers and babies face. A baby has a tongue-tie when the piece of skin connecting the baby’s tongue to the floor if their mouth is too short. This restricts movement of the tongue, making it difficult for the infant to properly latch on to the breast for feedings, and making nursing very painful for the mother. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected with an easy and harmless procedure called an infant frenectomy. Here, we’ll learn more about symptoms of a tongue-tie, as well as treatment options.
Signs and Symptoms:
Tongue-tied babies are born with this condition. If a newborn has a tongue-tie, you may notice:
Fortunately, this painful problem is one that can be easily corrected once identified. An infant frenectomy is a surgical procedure that’s performed in order to release a frenum, a fold of tissue that secures motion of the lip and tongue, is too tight or too thick. This procedure removes one or more of these folds from the lip or tongue. Our own Dr. Michael Foley specializes in performing this procedure using a laser.
Dr. Foley is the only oral dental provider west of Albany who performs laser frenectomies. A laser does not actually cut the tissue, and instead, uses light energy for a ‘vaporization’ effect. Dr. Foley strongly prefers this method for its precision and lack of invasiveness. With laser, patients typically experience less bleeding, which reduces the need for stitches; minimizes post-operative discomfort; and, promotes a faster recovery time.
This procedure can be performed in a matter of minutes, and does not require the use of general anesthesia. It’s important to select a provider who is experienced with infant frenectomies, follow their instructions for post-procedure care, and see your provider for a follow-up appointment as recommended.