Most cases of ankyloglossia are mild. They do not need to be treated. In some cases, the problem can make it hard for people to speak or eat. Sometimes the frenum pulls the gum tissue away from the back of the lower teeth.
Some children may say that their tongue hurts. This can happen when the tongue tries to move, but can't. Then the frenum becomes sore.
The surgery is usually done with a scalpel. A laser also can be used. The surgery is done in an office, not a hospital. The dentist or physician will use local anesthesia to numb the area. Your child also may receive sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Stitches usually are not needed. The area heals quickly. Few children have any pain afterward.
At first, the tongue may still not move freely. The muscles need time to adapt. A few children have such severe tongue tie that they need more complex surgery.
After a frenectomy, your child may need to visit a speech therapist. He or she will learn exercises to improve the tongue's range of motion and minimize scarring.
After the surgery, call your doctor if your child has bleeding, infection, numbness or persistent pain.
Sometimes other problems besides ankyloglossia are causing speech difficulties. These problems will need to be addressed before speech will improve. However, if ankyloglossia is the only cause of speech problems, the problems almost always go away after surgery.
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-2678