A tongue tie release, otherwise known as Frenectomy is a surgical procedure performed beneath the tongue of the mouth to release or loosen the large band of tissues that connects the tongue to the surface of the mouth. This procedure is performed to correct a condition known as Tongue-ties or Ankyloglossia. Frenectomy procedure can be performed on both adults and infants.
What is Tongue-tie in infants?
The condition occurs when a group of tissues beneath the tongue hinders movement of the tongue. It is normally seen in infants whose Frenulum (the tissue connecting the tongue and the floor of the mouth) is shorter. As this happens, infants will experience the restricted movement of the tongue. The condition is generally noticed and identified in children during their infant stage.
What are the symptoms of this condition in infants?
Tongue-ties can generally shows the following symptoms in infants:
- Impaired speech.
- Difficulties in chewing food.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Affects breastfeeding.
- Inability to sustain a good latch.
- Noticing the child falling asleep while being breastfed.
- Weight loss.
In infants, Ankyloglossia is known to affect breastfeeding the most. Later stages of tongue-tie can result in narrowing and crowding of teeth and increase risks of sleep apnea.
How does Ankyloglossia affect breastfeeding?
In infants, breastfeeding is their only source of nutrition. It is vital that the child is breastfed. Generally, infants while being breastfed, acquire nutrition from their mother by surrounding their tongue around the nipples. The free movement of the tongue will allow them to properly hold the nipples into the end of the mouth without causing any trouble to the nipples. Infants suffering from tongue-tie will experience difficulty as the restriction in the movement of the tongue will prevent babies from taking the nipple deep into their mouth. This affects latching.
What is the treatment involved in this condition?
Treatment for tongue-tie will involve surgical revising of the adjoining tissues beneath the tongue and the mouth. The procedure to alter tongue-tie is known as Frenectomy. As this is performed, it will allow better and improved movement of the tongue.
The procedure can be done in a matter of a few minutes. As the Frenulum is thin and has only less number of nerves connecting the tissue, the procedure is comparatively less painful. As the surgery is not complicated, babies can resume being breastfed with no delay.
Dr. Loller was trained to perform a “Functional Frenuloplasty” technique, which utilizes myofunctional therapy to maximize the benefit of the procedure, minimize discomfort and the need for revision.