What is a lingual frenectomy? How can it help with a tongue-tied individual? Is it a safe procedure? A lingual frenectomy is a surgical procedure that treats individuals who have difficulty speaking or eating. There are a lot of dental clinics that offer lingual frenectomy and of those are the services from Bondi Beach Dental.
Before we discussed the lingual frenectomy, we will first talk about what is tongue-tie. Tongue-tie also called ankyloglossia, is a condition that occurs on some babies that are born with limited tongue movements. A dentist, pediatrician or lactation consultant can diagnose this kind of condition. As tongue-tie limits the baby’s tongue movement, it affects the baby’s way to latch during nursing. It is a possibility for a child with tongue-tie to grow eventually, adapt and compensate for his or her tongue’s limited movement. And that is where lingual frenectomy can help treat this kind of condition. A lingual frenectomy can restore the child’s proper function and a full range of their tongue motion.
Normally, our lingual frenulum separates before birth, allowing our tongue to move freely. With tongue-tie, our lingual frenulum sticks to the bottom of our tongue. And it is still unknown why this happens. There are also some cases where tongue-tie was caused by genetic factors.
As a mother, you may identify right away if your baby has a tongue tie when there is a difficulty to latch during nursing. Here are other symptoms of tongue-tie that you can take note and be treated by lingual frenectomy.
- There is a limited side to side movement of your baby’s tongue.
- Your baby has the difficulty to lift his or her tongue to the roof of their mouth.
- There is an appearance of a notch or heart-shaped tongue.
- The baby experiences straining in pushing his or her tongue past their front teeth.
Now that we have discussed the tongue-tie let us now talk about the lingual frenectomy. The lingual frenectomy is a surgical procedure performed by removing the frenulum attached under your tongue in your mouth. This method is performed to a new born baby or a child who have tongue-tie or having the difficulty to speak or eat. If this is not treated by lingual frenectomy, the child may suffer from dental problems and significantly impact the child’s development. A lingual frenectomy can also be referred to as frenuloplasty. An oral surgeon or an Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) surgeon can perform this procedure.
As a mother, if you suspect your baby to have a tongue-tie, you should then visit your pediatrician or oral surgeon to be assessed and treated. The ENT or oral surgeon can suggest that your baby should undergo a lingual frenectomy treatment. Here are some benefits of a lingual frenectomy that you can take note, and these benefits include:
- It is a quick procedure that only takes a few minutes.
- Lingual frenectomy has a quick recovery. Although it can cause discomfort for only a few days.
- This procedure corrects the problems faced by your baby like latching during nursing and eating.
- The lingual frenectomy will improve your child’s speech.
Other benefits that your child can receive from lingual frenectomy.
- Lingual frenectomy will remove the gap between the two front teeth of your child.
- This procedure can help reduce the discomfort and pain your child felt from gum recession.
- The lingual frenectomy can improve your child’s self-confidence.
- Your child’s speech function will improve if he or she is treated with a lingual frenectomy.
- A lingual frenectomy procedure can help improve your child’s bite function.
- The procedure, a lingual frenectomy can increase the appetite and eating function of your child.
If you or your child will undergo lingual frenectomy, your doctor will provide you instructions on preparing for the procedure. You may be asked by your doctor to avoid intake of food or water for a few hours before the procedure. But it depends if you or your baby will be injected anesthesia or not. Be sure to fill any prescriptions ahead of time.
Lingual frenectomy may be performed in a dental office, doctor’s office or at a hospital. You will be given a schedule of your surgery, and when you arrive, you then be brought to the procedure room. Here are the procedures of lingual frenectomy that will be administered to you or your baby.
- The area of the frenulum will be numb with a local anesthetic. General anesthesia will be given to a child undergoing the lingual frenectomy. A small amount of anesthesia, enough to make the child numb, as anesthesia may harm the child.
- A scalpel or laser frenectomy will be used on the procedure. The oral surgeon will make a small cut on the frenulum to detach the tongue.
- Then the surgeon will place a few stitches in your mouth for it to heal.
Risks and Side Effects
Here are the common risks and side effects that your doctor will discuss to you.
- General risks from anesthesia (if needed)
- Nerve damage to the tongue and mouth
- Reattached frenulum (rare)