What Is Tongue-Tie?
Also known as ankyloglossia, tongue-tie occurs when the lingual frenulum—a band of tissue beneath the tongue—is uncommonly tight, short, or thick, and tethers the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, restricting the tongue’s range of movement.
People who are born with tongue-tie may experience the following effects or complications:
- Problems with breastfeeding: Babies with tongue-tie will find it difficult to breastfeed, as they may not be able to keep their tongue over their lower gum when sucking. Instead, they’ll end up making a chewing motion, which can cause the mother a lot of pain and interfere with their ability to get the nutrients they need.
- Difficulty speaking, or speech impediments: Children and adults with tongue-tie may have trouble making the following sounds: “l,” “th,” “z,” “r,” “t,” “s,” and “d.”
- Infection and tooth decay: The tongue is instrumental in maintaining good oral hygiene. It helps move food out of the mouth and prevent buildup around the teeth. Tongue-tie interferes with this process and makes it easier for bacteria to cluster. This can lead to infection and even tooth loss if proper dental care isn’t sought out.
- Gaps: Tongue-tie can cause a gap to form between the two bottom front teeth. Tongue-tie can also making the licking motion difficult and make it difficult to play a wind instrument such as the clarinet or flute.
A frenectomy, which is a tongue tie treatment, may be necessary to alleviate these difficulties and restore oral functionality.
Symptoms of Ankyloglossia
Adults or babies with tongue-tie usually have trouble with the following:
- Moving their tongues from side to side.
- Touching the roof of their mouth with their tongues.
- Sticking their tongues out past the tooth line.
Some people with tongue-tie won’t experience any difficulty eating, speaking, or swallowing, while others will. Tongue tie treatment may be helpful for those with severe issues with their tongue motions.
Each case is different, so we invite everyone who thinks they or their children may have tongue-tie to come into our office and discuss their needs and options with us. We may be able to provide tongue tie treatment by using laser dentistry.
Benefits of Laser Tongue Tie Treatment
Tongue tie surgery, or a frenectomy, is a relatively simple procedure that has now been revolutionized by laser technology. Some benefits of laser dentistry include:
- Minimal bleeding, as it vaporizes tissue rather than cutting it.
- Instant cauterization of sutures, so no stitches required!
- Decreased pain—even painless in some cases.
- Sterilization of the surrounding tissue, thus reducing the risk of infection.
- Fast procedure time and faster healing times.
- Less stress and damage to the surrounding tissue.
With so many benefits, laser dentistry is an exciting way to perform a tongue tie surgery.
To learn more about laser dentistry or the frenectomy procedure, give our office a call. We’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions!
A Dentist You Can Trust
Dr. William Stewart brings to Stewart Cosmetic Dentistry a wealth of experience performing tongue tie surgery. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for you or your child, so you can discover the benefits of full oral functionality!