Pediatric Dentist Treats
Babies with Tongue-Tie
at Bear Brook Dental
If you’ve never heard of tongue-tie (ankyloglossia), don’t assume
it’s rare. Up to 11% of babies are born with this congenital
condition, meaning that it’s considered common.
Babies with tongue-tie have restricted
range of motion in the tongue,
because ankyloglossia is a condition
where the lingual frenulum ‘ties’ the
tongue tip to the floor of the mouth.
The severity of ankyloglossia varies case-by-case, but it has been linked to colic, a lack
of healthy weight gain, issues with the child's front teeth, speech impediments in older
children, and even painful breastfeeding experiences for mothers.
Tongue-tie is more common in boys, and can
present a wide range of problems if the
condition is severe enough. Newborns with
tongue-tie are much more likely to have
problems breastfeeding, which can result in
problems of its own.
Common symptoms in babies with tongue-tie
Lack of weight gain, limited tongue
movement, tooth decay, silent reflux, colic,
a visibly tight or short frenulum, speech
impediments or speech difficulties in older
children, and gaps between lower and
upper front teeth.
There are many treatment options for tongue-tie. The condition is easily treatable
with a simple procedure called ‘lingual frenectomy,’ also sometimes referred to as a
‘frenotomy procedure’ or even ‘tongue tie surgery.’
To perform a frenectomy, a pediatric dentist
or a pediatrician will use sterile surgical tools
to cut the frenulum that ties the tongue to the
floor of the mouth. This will result in freedom
and increased motion of the tongue.
The healing process is very quick as well — infants that undergo a
frenectomy procedure will be able to latch and breastfeed
successfully almost immediately following the procedure.
There are other options on how to treat
tongue-tie, depending on the severity of the
case. There are nonsurgical tongue-tie
treatments available for milder cases. For
more severe cases, though, surgical
treatment may be necessary.