Tongue tie surgery can make a huge difference for a patient. It is typically a simple procedure that our restorative dentist does on an outpatient basis. The surgeon snips restrictive tissue beneath the tongue. Before surgery, the patient may have trouble eating, speaking and swallowing. Once healed, the patient is able to speak and eat normally. Oral care becomes easier, too.
Who Needs Tongue Tie Surgery?
Normally, a slender piece of tissue called the frenulum connects the back half of your tongue to the floor of your mouth. About 5 percent of babies are born tongue tied. The condition is also called ankyloglossia. It causes problems with nursing that can be health threatening.
Three times as many boys as girls are tongue tied at birth. The condition is likely genetic. Nursing mothers are often the first to detect the problem in their babies. If the condition is mild, though, you might miss it until your child begins to speak.
The tongue is one of the key muscles in swallowing and speaking. An extended frenulum restricts these essential activities. In this case, your child needs frenulum surgery.
The Right Time for Tongue Tie Surgery
Ideally, you should schedule frenulum surgery before you bring your newborn home from the hospital. However, if your physician does not detect the condition right away, you need to make an appointment with a specialist.
If you decide to have the procedure done early, we can take care of it in our office. You can bring your baby home right away. We will typically give your baby a local anesthetic. Then, our oral surgeon will make the incision that separates the tip of the tongue from the connective tissue. There is little blood. Your baby can nurse immediately afterward.
Older children and adults who are tongue tied can benefit from a frenectomy at any time. The surgery will make it much easier to talk, chew and swallow. Again, we provide this procedure in our clinic on an outpatient basis.
What Happens During Frenulum Surgery?
In the simplest case, the surgeon snips the frenulum with sterile scissors. The patient feels little discomfort, and there is minimal bleeding. The cut does not involve any major blood vessels or nerve endings. The procedure is quite fast and simple. Most patients experience no side effects. On rare occasions, the frenulum could reattach as it heals. Also, anytime you have surgery, you have a slight risk of infection. In older children and adults who have thick frenulums, the physician may need to do a frenuloplasty. Typically, patients receive general anesthesia. The doctor stitches up the separation wound.
What Should You Do After Tongue Tie Surgery?
After the procedure, infants are able to nurse more easily. This gives their tongues the chance to exercise. Older pediatric patients will often need to do tongue exercises. Exercise also helps patients with their newfound tongue agility.
At Greenwood Dental, we offer a wide range of dental services in addition to tongue tie treatment in Lake County, IL. Once healing from surgery is complete, be sure to come in for important treatments that promote lifelong oral health, such as:
- Dental check-ups
- Teeth cleaning
- Pediatric dentistry
- Fillings and sealants
Tongue Tie Surgery in Lake County, IL
If you or your child needs tongue tie treatment in Lake County, IL, contact Greenwood Dental at 855.528.3961 today. Our caring staff members can answer your questions and schedule a consultation.