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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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Treating Your Child's Tongue Tie

Posted on 2/25/2016 by Cynthia Pelley
A baby girl suffering from a tongue tie.Has your child been diagnosed with tongue tie? This is a condition that is present at birth, and it restricts the range of motion of the tongue. A thick, tight, or short band of tissue tethers the bottom of the tip of the tongue to the floor of your child's mouth, and when the condition is present, your child may have difficulty speaking, eating, swallowing, or sticking out his tongue. During infancy, he may also have trouble breastfeeding.

Tongue tie is relatively easy to diagnose, as your child's doctor should be able to notice the problem easily with a physical exam. Pediatricians also tend to use screening tools to score aspects of the tongue's ability to move and physical appearance, and these results can help to determine the right course of action when it comes to treating the problem.

Doctors, lactation consultants, and dentists tend to vary when it comes to treatment approaches for tongue tie. Some medical professionals recommend that the issue is corrected immediately, even prior to discharging a newborn from the hospital.

Since the frenulum can loosen over time, other professionals opt to take an approach of waiting to see what happens, as the problem may resolve on its own. Otherwise, two surgical procedures might be recommended:

•  Frenotomy. This simple surgical procedure involves the use of sterile scissors in order to slice the frenulum free. It is a quick process that is relatively painless since there are few blood vessels or nerve endings in the frenulum.
•  Frenuloplasty. This procedure is more extensive, and it is recommended if additional repairs are needed or if the tissue is too thick for the less invasive option.

If your child has a tongue tie that has not yet been treated and you are wondering how he might be affected by it, please contact our office.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202