At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stewart is proud to provide our patients with treatment for tongue ties. Left untreated, tongue ties not only cause serious concerns for infants and breastfeeding mothers, but can also continue to hinder a child’s development as they grow. Tongue ties can be detrimental to the development of a child’s oral bone structures, speech, airways, ability to swallow, and more.
What Is a Tongue Tie?
Inside the womb, thick cords of tissue, called a frenum, connect structures like the lips and tongue to neighboring soft tissues. The frenum holds muscles in place to facilitate the proper development of an infant’s oral structures inside the womb. Normally, the frenum weakens, thins, and recedes by the time a baby is born. In about four to ten-percent of children, however, the frenum remains mostly intact. A tongue tie occurs when the frenum beneath the tongue does not recede properly.
Signs and Symptoms of Tongue Ties
Infants with tongue ties typically have a difficult time latching and breastfeeding properly. You might notice the following:
Poor latching can also cause problems for mothers. If your infant has a tongue tie, you might experience mastitis, pain, slow weight loss, or early cessation of lactation.
A child or toddler with a tongue tie might exhibit the following signs or symptoms:
Frenectomy: Tongue Tie Treatment at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry
If your infant of child has a tongue tie, administering treatment as soon as possible is best for your child’s development. A simple procedure called a frenectomy treats tongue ties by releasing the frenum, using either traditional or laser surgery. Frenectomy is safe to perform on patients of all ages, including infants who are only a couple of days old.
The primary concern after a frenectomy is preventing the frenum from reattaching, as oral tissues heal quickly. To prevent any problems, Dr. Stewart will provide you with instructions for post-operative care.
If your infant, toddler, or child is struggling with a tongue tie, Dr. Stewart can provide quick and effective treatment to ensure your baby or child’s health. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.