Frenectomy is simply the removal of connective tissue (called the frenum) from under the tongue .Ankyloglossia can make it difficult for infants to breastfeed. The condition is present at birth. A short, tight band of tissue tethers the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth. It can affect how a child eats and speaks, and can interfere with breastfeeding.
A maxillary frenectomy involves removing the piece of tissue connecting the upper gums to the front teeth – commonly referred to as a lip-tie. If you would like more information regarding lingual and maxillary frenectomies for your child, please contact our office. Dr. Da Fonseca is always happy to help!
Tongue-tie is a birth defect that occurs when the strip of skin (lingual frenulum) connecting a baby’s tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual. Typically, this strip of skin separates before birth, allowing the tongue free range of motion. With tongue-tie, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue.
Tongue-tie is a very common condition that, if addressed quickly, will not hinder a child’s development. However, if left untreated, tongue-tie can result in malnourishment, speech difficulty, or poor oral hygiene.
Signs of tongue-tie include:
- Restriction of the tongue’s movement, making it harder to breastfeed
- Difficulty lifting the tongue up or moving it from side to side
- Difficulty sticking the tongue out
- The tongue looks notched or heart-shaped when stuck out
Treatment of Tongue-Tie
The treatment of tongue-tie for infants is a simple surgical procedure called a frenotomy. Your child’s doctor examines the lingual frenulum and then uses sterile scissors or laser to snip the frenulum free. Stitches are usually not necessary. Since there are few nerve endings or blood vessels in the lingual frenulum, only a local anesthetic is used.
Frenotomy for tongue-tie in older children and adults is similar to that for infants, although it is usually done under general anesthesia and may involve stitches. Speech therapy may also be necessary.