Many parents are becoming aware of tongue-ties and how the condition impacts their child’s health. However, some parents are skeptical of treatment or believe that tongue-ties are a relatively newer health issue. The truth is that treatment is highly recommended and tongue-ties have always been an issue for many infants. Some people are just not aware of the health issue unless they or their child have it and are properly diagnosed. Even pediatricians often overlook the problem. For this reason, it is essential to raise awareness of tongue-ties to help infants and children who may have it as well as decrease future problems.
One reason why a parent may refuse treatment is fear. Years ago, tongue-ties were treated with traditional snipping and sutures. However, this technique is no longer the only option as advancements in technology are now available. Today, tongue-ties may be treated with CO2 laser therapy. This technique safely and precisely treats the condition while allowing for a quick recovery and very little, if any, bleeding or scar tissue.
Every person is born with a frenulum, or soft tissue, which is under the tongue. The frenulum is supposed to dissolve further back under the tongue before birth, but sometimes this does not happen. Tongue-tie refers to the frenulum being too tight or thick which limits the tongue’s mobility. As a result, infants may experience the following issues:
A patient needs to be properly diagnosed by a qualified doctor in order to be treated. Below are the different types of tongue-ties.
Anterior or Classic Tongue-Tie
The frenulum attaches from or close to the tip of the tongue and to the floor of the mouth in front of the salivary glands.
Posterior or Submucosal Tongue-Tie
The frenulum attaches further back under the tongue and just behind the salivary glands on the floor of the mouth.
Is Treatment Necessary?
We highly recommend treatment even if your child’s tongue-tie is not severe. Each child is different but they are likely to develop health-related conditions that may impact their quality of life. Conditions may include:
procedure uses carbon dioxide to precisely and quickly evaporate the extra tissue. In addition, the area is instantly sterilized which minimizes discomfort. Infants can nurse immediately after treatment as well. Of course, it is important to seek consultation from a qualified doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Additionally, post-treatment care is important. Necessary tongue exercises help your infant to learn proper tongue movement. These exercises are easy and your doctor will teach you the technique. A follow-up visit is likely to be scheduled to assure the tongue is moving well and answer any questions or concerns. In addition, depending on the age of your infant or child, a follow up with your IBCLC, SLP, or bodyworker may be very helpful.
Dr. Fawn Rosenberg of Lexington Smile Studio is qualified and highly experienced in treating tongue-ties with CO2 laser therapy. In fact, she has treated thousands of patients, including infants. Learn more by scheduling a consultation today. Parents may call (781) 861-SMILE or book an appointment onlineat www.LexingtonSmileStudio.com. Our office is located at 922 Waltham St #202, Lexington, MA 02421. We look forward to meeting you.
Dr. Fawn Rosenberg graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1985 and received her Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry in 1990. Since then, Dr. Rosenberg has been using a variety of lasers in dentistry for more than 20 years. Her credentials have been recognized at Brigham and Women’s Hospital along with Tufts, Boston, and Harvard universities, where she previously held staff appointments.
Dr. Rosenberg is devoted to continuing her education while participating in dental organizations. She is an active member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals and International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals.