Has your infant had difficulty staying latched while feeding? Do they often make clicking noises or, if you’re breastfeeding, cause pain or swelling for you? Is your baby not gaining weight quickly enough? These are all common signs of tongue-tie, a condition that limits the ability to move the tongue. Without treatment, tongue-tie can lead to nutritional deficiencies, speech impediments, dental problems, and more. So, what can you expect when your baby needs tongue-tie revision? Check out a basic breakdown of what to know about the treatment from a pediatric dentist in Scottsdale.
Before Tongue-Tie Revision
First, your child will need to be diagnosed by either their pediatrician or a tongue-tie specialist. They’ll determine whether your little one has the condition by examining their frenulum – the band of tissue under the tongue that connects it to the floor of the mouth. The frenulum normally becomes thinner with age, but when it doesn’t, the movement of the tongue is restricted. In this case, this tissue must be removed in a procedure called a frenectomy aka tongue-tie revision.
During Tongue-Tie Revision
If your son or daughter needs tongue-tie revision, rest assured that the procedure takes just a few minutes. It’s also designed to be comfortable thanks to modern technology. In most cases, only a small amount of local anesthetic is required to prevent pain.
Rather than a traditional scalpel, your tongue-tie specialist will most likely use an ultraprecise laser to perform the frenectomy. This highly concentrated beam of light cauterizes the tissue as it works, minimizing any swelling, bleeding, or discomfort following the procedure. It also allows the specialist to remove as little tissue as possible so as not to interfere with your baby’s development.
After Tongue-Tie Treatment
Your little one should fully heal from their frenectomy within 1-2 weeks with most of the discomfort subsiding after 24 hours. Children’s Tylenol may help with pain, but for babies, natural forms of pain relief, like skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding, should be sufficient. You should be able to feed or nurse your child immediately after the procedure. The specialist will provide you with detailed aftercare guidelines which usually include tongue-stretching exercises to prevent the frenulum from reattaching.
Finding out your baby needs tongue-tie revision can be a bit scary, but this simple procedure is nothing to worry about. It’s demonstrably safe with the risk of post-op complications being extremely low. Once your child has recovered and gained full movement of their tongue, they’ll enjoy improved speech, nutrition, and overall quality of life!
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Martinez earned her dental doctorate from Marquette University. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association. If you suspect your child may need tongue-tie revision, schedule a consultation on her website or call (480) 282-6746.