What is a Tongue Tie?
A tongue-tie is a thick, tight, or short string of tissue under the tongue that restricts the tongue’s movement and causes a functional issue. Collectively, tongue-ties and lip-ties are referred to as tethered oral tissues. For a tight piece of tissue to qualify as a tongue-tie, it must have a functional impact on nursing, speech, feeding, or sleep. Infant problems arising from tongue-ties include painful and prolonged nursing episodes, poor stimulation of maternal milk production, reflux, slow weight gain, gassiness, and a host of other issues for mom and/or baby. As babies advance to eating solids, tongue ties can lead to gagging, refusing food, spitting out food, and picky eating. Speech delays, articulation issues (trouble with R, L, S, SH, TH, and Z sounds in particular), and stuttering may arise as well. Finally, sleep is often impacted, beginning in infancy. If tongue-ties remain untreated, they can lead to structural and functional changes in the craniofacial-respiratory complex and can impact sleep throughout the lifespan
(Baxter, Richard | Published: 2018 in Dental Sleep Practice, 38-40).
Tongue Tie Surgery for Infants and Babies
There are different ways to preform a frenectomy, typically ranging from scissors to scalpels. At Growing Smiles Main Line Pediatric Dentistry, we use a LightScalpel CO2 laser, which is a cold, non-touch laser. Our soft tissue laser does not cut tissue, rather it “vaporizes” the tissue with light energy. The laser frenectomy for babies and infants helps seal the blood vessels as it works, so there is no bleeding or stitches needed. Additionally, the laser sterilizes the wound and surrounding tissue, reducing the risk for infection.