Are Tongue Ties in Infants Treatable?

Photo of a smiling baby after he had a frenectomy.

Many infants and toddlers have tongue or lip ties. Everyday activities like eating, speech development, and digestion can be affected, but we can resolve these issues with a frenectomy! Here’s what to know about treating tongue ties.

What Are Tongue Ties?

Frenulums are small bands of tissue in the mouth. Sometimes, the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight. This is known as a tongue tie. It makes it harder to move the tongue around. With lip ties, the frenulum is too tight between the upper gum and upper lip. Both types of ties can cause gaps between the front teeth, increase the risk of cavities and infection, and delay speech development. They can also make it harder for infants to nurse and gain weight.

Are Tongue Ties Treatable?

Tongue ties are treated with a minimally-invasive surgical procedure known as a frenectomy. It’s safe for infants, young kids, and adults. We apply a topical or local anesthetic and then trim or remove the tissue so you have full range of movement. We use either a scalpel or laser therapy. Both typically only cause minor bleeding and soreness.

What’s Recovery Like?

After a frenectomy, recovery is usually very simple. Infants can start feeding again right away. Children and adults recover fully in 3-5 days. Pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications. For your comfort, eat soft foods for a few days before returning to a normal diet.

Treating Tongue Ties at Santa Teresa Smiles in Santa Teresa, NM & El Paso, TX

Tongue and lip ties are common and treatable! A frenectomy is a safe, easy way to improve an infant’s feeding, speech development, and oral health. If you’re older and never had your tongue tie removed, it’s never too late. Dr. Oushy and the team perform lots of frenectomies. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!