Tongue-tie is a condition in which the tongue has restricted movement. In newborns, tongue-tie can interfere with breastfeeding and lead to failure to thrive. If tongue-tie is resolved with a frenectomy aka frenotomy when a baby is still a newborn, many potential problems are averted.
Unfortunately, and perhaps strangely, much confusion surrounds a puzzling question of whether tongue-tie is a condition which needs to be addressed. Many physicians have adopted the philosophy of essentially denying the plethora of problems a restricted tongue can cause. As a result, many people grow up to adulthood forced to deal with limitations caused by a restricted tongue.
Tongue-tie is defined by one source as a malformation that causes a speech impediment. The medical name for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia, and another source says that it’s a condition existing from birth in which the range of the tongue’s motion is restricted. Typically, a tight or thick band of tissue called the “lingual frenulum” tethers the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
Numerous problems are resolved for a newborn with tongue-tie by having a quick, simple procedure that only becomes more complicated with age. After the baby stage has passed, the following are more of the problems faced by growing children and adults with tongue-tie:
If any of the above-named symptoms apply to you and you believe you may have adult tongue-tie, the following are more indications that a frenectomy would be a benefit. These may be used by a professional during an assessment of tongue restriction.
In addition, if you cannot move your closed lips from side to side without the entire jaw moving, you may have a lip tie, which means movement is restricted by an attachment of skin.
Research shows that a frenotomy does not seem to cause discomfort or distress in newborns. Babies 6 months old and older are typically administered a general anesthetic, and discomfort may be felt for up to 10 days. In older children and adults, a general anesthetic and stitches are sometimes required.
Gep TOTs Dental Group at Woodbridge Kids Dentistry offers a team of specialists skilled at providing treatment for tongue tie and lip tie in the region of Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Contact us today at (647) 492-7059 for relief from the symptoms of tongue-tie and lip-tie.