Parents: Don’t Worry About Tongue-Tie Surgery (Here’s Everything You Need to Know)
If your baby has been diagnosed with ankyloglossia, don’t worry! More commonly known as “tongue-tie,” this condition occurs between approximately 4-10% of the population, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). While tongue-tie can disrupt breastfeeding and appropriate intake of food for babies, a simple tongue-tie surgery (also referred to as a frenectomy)—performed in the comfort of our dental office—can correct the condition.
At Newtown Dentistry our board-certified dentist Dr. Christine Landes (or “Dr. Chris” as she’s known around here) specializes in pediatric dental care, with years of experience in lip- and tongue-tie surgery procedures. Parents can rest assured knowing their little one is in the best, most capable, and caring hands.
When a baby has ankyloglossia or tongue-tie it means that he/she has been born with a congenital condition where the tight band of tissue (called the lingual frenulum) remains attached to the bottom of the tongue. Because the tongue is “stuck” to the floor of the mouth, it can cause a variety of breastfeeding problems for baby and mom, which include:
Difficulties “latching on”
Issues with baby spitting up, choking, and/or reflux
Breast-milk leaking or poor breast drainage
Nipple pain, thrush, and/or mastitis
Additionally, some babies may also experience premature weaning and problems gaining weight.
How Does Tongue-Tie Surgery Work?
To help free restrictions of tongue movement and alleviate tongue-tie, Dr. Chris performs a completely safe and effective tongue-tie laser surgery procedure. As we mentioned earlier, this process can be performed in the comfort of our dental office. Additionally, because Dr. Chris utilizes a minimally-invasive LightScapel CO2 laser, there are essentially little to no tongue tie surgery side effects. In fact, parents feel more at ease when they learn that laser tongue-tie surgery:
Is easy and quick to perform
Has no bleeding involved
Has a reduced risk of infection
Has a rapid recovery time
Does not require sedation
To help your baby recover from a tongue-tie procedure, you may be guided on how to perform special tongue exercises. Complete healing may take up to a few weeks, but you can resume breastfeeding your baby immediately following laser tongue-tie surgery. In fact, because of the healing properties of breast milk, it will help aid the recovery process.
Is There an Optimal Tongue-tie Surgery Age?
A tongue-tie surgery can be performed on infants all the way through to people in adulthood. Having the procedure done during infancy, however, can help eliminate breastfeeding issues and result in weight-gain issues for babies. It can also help eliminate the need for an older child to work with a speech-language pathologist to improve speech due to tongue-tie.
If you would like to learn more about tongue-tie surgery, we are here for you! From your first phone call with us to entering our warm and welcoming dental home, you’ll soon see how much we love working with families and babies! We treat each child as if they were one of our own (and many of us do have children!)
Keep up with the latest Newtown Dentistry news, adventures, dental tips, and more. With upwards of two decades in providing excellence in dental care to children and adults, Dr. Chris Landes and her talented and skilled dental colleagues share a variety of resources you won’t want to miss.
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