Ankyloglossia, or more commonly referred to as tongue-tie—a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion by tethering the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth—was traditionally left untreated by dentists, as it was believed to eventually “fix itself.”
Those who were born with tongue-tie may have developed oral health issues later in life that has affected their ability to speak, eat, breathe, and swallow. Some issues associated with adult tongue-tie, include
- Tooth decay
- Unnatural spacing of teeth
- Speech difficulties
For infants, a tongue tie can affect their ability to successfully breastfeed, leading to poor latch and decreased nutrition.
Today, advances in dentistry have made the tongue-tie release procedure simple and safe, so the condition can be corrected at an earlier age. But for many who grew up without ever having their tongue released, you may be wondering whether this procedure is still available to you.
The answer is yes! But to help you with a better understanding, here’s how a tongue-tie release procedure works for both infants and adult patients.
Tongue-Tie Release Procedure for Infants
For infants, a tongue-tie release is performed at either a hospital setting or dentist’s office. During the procedure,
- The infant’s tongue and lip are pulled back to expose the tongue tie
- A CO2 light scalpel laser is used to remove the restriction
Stitches are typically not used after the procedure, and your baby may experience only a small amount of bleeding.
At Dakota Dental, mothers and their infants have the opportunity to meet with Brittany Clayton, an experienced, board certified lactation consultant, who specializes in helping mothers struggling with breastfeeding due to tethered oral tissue.
Contact Dakota Dental today to schedule a consultation!
Tongue-Tie Release Procedure for Adults
For teens and adults, local anesthesia is typically required before the tongue and lip are pulled back and a CO2 light scalpel laser is used to remove the tight frenulum under the tongue. Before and after surgery, your dentist may recommend myofunctional therapy to aid in the procedure.
What to Expect After a Tongue-Tie Release
Though frenuloplasty surgery should take less than an hour to complete, there are some essential aftercare steps for adults to follow to ensure proper healing. Recommended exercises will consist of daily stretching and holding the tongue in different positions for several seconds to help strengthen the muscle.
To learn more about tongue exercises for frenuloplasty recovery for adults or for information on breastfeeding your infant after a tongue-tie release, contact Dakota Dental today!
Premier Tongue-Tie Release Procedures in the Twin Cities
Now that you know how quick and easy—not to mention beneficial—a tongue-tie release procedure is, it’s time to contact Dakota Dental for a free consultation! During your appointment, you’ll meet with our team to discuss your concerns and find the best treatment for you or your child’s oral health and overall wellness. Visit our website to learn more about tongue tie releases and other advanced services, including airway orthodontics, Myofunctional Therapy, Ozone treatment, and more!