Child's Tongue-tie Treatment | The Paediatric Dental Practice

Child's Tongue-tie Treatment | The Paediatric Dental Practice

Over the last five years there has been a renewed interest in treating tongue-ties in newborn babies with a procedure called a 'frenectony' or a 'frenotomy'. 

What is a tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie is a term for ankyloglossia, used to describe a short lingual frenum  – the tissue connecting the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

Being tongue-tied can restrict tongue movement for the baby. The procedure to correct this may be performed in hope of improving a baby's feeding, growth and behaviour.


What is the treatment and why the renewed interest?

A frenectomy is a procedure to cut the lingual frenum, which will free the tongue.

Some dentists are happy to perform this lucrative and seemingly simple procedure, and this has led the recent overtreatment in unnecessary frenectomies. In some of these cases this issue has been incorrectly diagnosed. For example:

In cases where a baby is having trouble feeding or isn’t gaining weight the problem may be with a tongue tie or may be something else unrelated to the tongue. 

As specialists in the field of children’s health, we are aware that the over-treatment of tongue-ties is occuring in the general dental community. Paediatric dentists like us, as well as Paediatricians and Paediatric surgeons, are concerned at the increasing rate of unnecessary treatment.

Why are we concerned with over-treatment?

As with any procedure, there are risks involved. Parents should be aware that minor and severe complications could occur, including:

  • post-operative bleeding
  • loss of normal function of the tongue 
  • post surgical infection
  • re-attachment of the frenum
  • nerve damage

We understand that as new parents, you’re overwhelmed and open to treatments that could improve the health and happiness of your infant. 

We implore all new parents, who would like all information associated with this treatment, including the pros and cons, to see your Paediatrician, Paediatric surgeon or Paediatric dentist so that you can weigh up the benefits of having this treatment done or not in your child’s case. 

If you have questions about your situation then call our friendly team on the Gold Coast on (07) 5597 2000.