Frenectomy (Tongue-Tie Release)

The tongue plays many important roles in our overall health and when it is not functioning properly many things can be impacted starting in infancy.

Infant Tongue-tie

Does your baby have a hard time breastfeeding because he or she can’t latch on correctly? Do you notice that your baby’s tongue seems restricted in movement? If so, your baby may have been born with tongue-tie, a physical condition that can be easily remedied by a simple procedure in our office.

What is a tongue-tie?

The lingual frenulum is the membrane that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A person is considered tongue-tied if the frenulum is too thick, tight, or short and is effecting the function and movement of the tongue. When tongue movement is restricted, many normal activities, like nursing, eating, drinking, speaking and breathing can be negatively impacted.

What is a Lingual Frenectomy or Tongue-tie Revision?

A frenectomy is the surgical release of the frenulum or tissue that is restricting normal movement and or the normal resting posture of the tongue. A frenectomy is a routine procedure used to correct this congenital condition known as tongue-tie.

frenectomy with laser on a 3 year old

Before frenectomy with laser
After frenectomy with laser

Frequently Asked Questions About Tongue-Tie

How can I tell if my baby is tongue-tied?

Since tongue-tie refers to restricted tongue movement, evaluating your baby’s eating habits is a good place to start. How well your baby is able to latch on when breastfeeding can give you an indication of the range of movement of their tongue. Also if breast-feeding is painful that indicates a problem.

The following are signs that may reveal your baby has tongue-tie, but not one of them alone is conclusive. An evaluation by one of our doctors would be the best way to determine whether or not your baby could benefit from a frenectomy.

Possible signs of tongue-tie:

  • Pain during breastfeeding
  • Damaged nipples
  • Baby’s inability to maintain suction during breastfeeding
  • Clicking noises during feeding that aren’t just the result of a noisy eater
  • Baby’s low weight gain over time
  • Recurring Mastitis

Some questions to consider:

  • Does your baby have difficulty moving her tongue from one side to the other?
  • Can your baby touch the upper gums or roof of the mouth with her tongue?
  • Can your baby stick their tongue out past her gums?
  • Does your baby’s tongue have a V or heart shape at the tip when she sticks it out?

What is tongue-tie surgery?

Our frenectomy procedure is a laser treatment and takes only 15 minutes. The advantages of doing a frenectomy with a laser rather than the traditional approach with a scalpel include:

  • Less bleeding.
  • Reduced need for stitches.
  • Minimal post-operative discomfort.
  • Faster recovery.

What causes tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie is a condition present at birth.

Is tongue-tie surgery painful?

Not at all. We treat the area with a local anesthetic before the procedure, so he or she will not feel a thing.

Can tongue-tie go away on its own?

No. The only way to correct tongue-tie is by surgery.

Can a baby with tongue-tie stick her tongue out?

Sometimes they can stick it out a bit, but the tongue will not have a normal range of motion.

Drs. Stamm, Stamm-Christian, and Hernandez look forward to working with you and your child if he or she has been impacted by the negative effects of tongue-tie. The frenectomy procedure is simple, and together with a team of medical specialists, our doctors treat this condition comprehensively, safely, and comfortably.