Ankyloglossia is a congenital condition where the lingual frenulum, the band of tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is shorter than usual, restricting the normal range of motion of the tongue.
This condition can affect both infants and adults, but the procedure is most frequently performed on infants to alleviate breastfeeding difficulties or speech issues.
Lingual frenuloplasty can be considered for newborns and infants. Tongue-ties can interfere with proper latching onto the breast, causing nipple pain and difficulty with breastfeeding. It can also lead to inadequate milk transfer and poor weight gain in the infant.
In older children and adults, tongue-tie may contribute to speech difficulties, particularly with sounds that require a wide range of tongue movement, such as "r," "l," or "th" sounds.
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Lingual frenuloplasty can offer several benefits, including:
Improved breastfeeding experience for infants and mothers
Enhanced tongue mobility, allowing for more natural speech development in children
Alleviation of discomfort or speech difficulties in older children and adults
Procedure & Recovery
Lingual frenuloplasty is a relatively straightforward and minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in a healthcare provider's office or clinic.
In infants, the procedure may be done without anesthesia or with the use of a local numbing gel. For older children or adults, a local anesthetic may be injected into the frenulum area to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
The surgeon or healthcare provider will use a scalpel or scissors to make a small, precise incision in the lingual frenulum, effectively releasing the restriction. The goal is to allow the tongue to achieve a wider range of motion. Immediate Improvement: In many cases, the improvement in tongue mobility is immediately noticeable after the procedure.
After the frenuloplasty, the healthcare provider may recommend some stretching exercises or exercises to encourage proper tongue movement during the healing process.
The recovery from lingual frenuloplasty is typically straightforward. Babies can usually nurse more effectively right away, and adults and older children may experience improved speech. Mild discomfort and minimal bleeding are common but usually resolve quickly.