It takes less than a minute to perform tongue-tie or lip-tie pediatric laser surgery, which involves removing the frenulum with a laser rather than scalpels or scissors. As a first step, the laser cauterizes the tissue, which minimizes bleeding.
Here are some pros and cons of tongue-tie surgery in newborns:
|may help improve breastfeeding problems||may not help improve breastfeeding problems|
|babies may feed better and gain weight more quickly post-surgery||may cause infection and swelling|
|may prevent nipple pain for nursing mothers||may ultimately be unnecessary|
|may prevent dental problems later in life||requires daily exercises and stretching after the procedure to prevent the condition from reoccurring|
|may prevent speech problems later in life|
What Causes Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie is caused by an abnormal formation of the tongue and frenulum that is not understood by doctors. Boys are more likely to suffer from the condition than girls, and it sometimes runs in families.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Tongue Tie?
Depending on a child’s age, tongue tie can cause varying problems. When a newborn cannot latch on to the breast or nurse properly, they may have difficulty breastfeeding. There are several symptoms associated with tongue tie, including a weak latch, an easy loss of latch, gumming or biting the nipple, and nipple pain or injury.
Children over the age of six may not be able to stick their tongues out past their teeth and may have difficulty speaking clearly.
Other symptoms of tongue tie include:
- A frenulum that gets caught between the lower front teeth can cause cuts under the tongue
- Due to their inability to clean their teeth with their tongues, they suffer from tooth decay
Children with tongue ties may have difficulty:
- The ability to speak clearly or use certain sounds (d, l, t, th, etc.)
- Lip licking
- Liquify things with their tongue, such as ice cream cones
- Play a wind instrument
Surgery Side Effects and Complications
The healing time for tongue-tie surgery may be longer in rare, complicated cases. In addition to complications and side effects, the procedure may also cause:
- Hydration problems
- Feeding difficulties
- Loss of weight
- Muscle damage to the tongue
- Salivary glands (spit) damaged
- Problems breathing
What is the Best Age for Tongue Tie Laser Surgery?
As the area has few nerve endings or blood vessels, it is often performed without anesthesia on babies under 3 months of age.
Benefits to Expect after Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Laser Surgery?
Laser surgery for tongue ties and lip ties is relatively simple, quick, and painless. After the surgery, your baby can nurse whenever he/she wishes, however the numbing medication may take 30-45 minutes to wear off.
How Long Does Laser Tongue-Tie Take to Heal?
What’s the recovery time for tongue-tie laser surgery? Tongue-tie procedures take about 2 weeks to heal your child’s mouth. There is a short recovery time after laser tongue-tie surgery, as lasers cauterize wounds as they cut.
Newborns can suffer from tongue-tie at birth, which is a minor condition.
A tongue-tie can also affect the shape of the mouth or make it difficult to speak later in life.
Some babies can benefit from tongue-tie surgery by being able to breastfeed more easily.
Tongue Tie Laser Surgery (Explained)
Disclaimer – This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about orthodontics and general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your orthodontist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.
Perry heads up a dynamic marketing team that has help the leading orthodontic practices in the USA 10X their business for over a decade. He’s a tea connoisseur, avid reader, traveling and grower of exotic fruits in his permaculture food forest.