Tongue-tie occurs when the frenulum, which is the string of tissue underneath your baby’s tongue that attaches their tongue to the floor of their mouth, is too short. Tongue-tie can stop your baby from freely moving their tongue or sticking the tip of their tongue out past their lower front teeth. This issue can make it harder for your baby to breastfeed, since they’ll find it harder to suck out the milk. This also tends to make the mother’s nipples feel cracked and sore.
One of our dentists may diagnose your baby with tongue-tie during a dental appointment. The dentist will put their finger inside your baby’s mouth to feel the roof of their mouth and tongue. Unfortunately, tongue-tie can be difficult to diagnose, as it can’t always be determined just by looking inside your baby’s mouth. It may not be diagnosed until a later date if your baby has trouble feeding.
Tongue-tie can be treated through a simple operation that is called a frenectomy, which involves snipping the frenulum located at the base of your baby’s tongue. If your baby is under four months old and they have a thin frenulum, it can be snipped right after the area has been numbed. Your baby shouldn’t experience any pain at all, and they might even sleep through the procedure.
In most cases, you baby will only experience a tiny bit of bleeding, if any at all. They will be able to be breastfed straightaway. In fact, feeding your baby is a great way to stop any bleeding, as feeding constricts the floor of the mouth.
For more information on tongue-tie or frenectomy surgery, book an appointment with East Bentleigh Dental Group today. Call our clinic now on (03) 9575 1100.