While infants are still in the womb, a tongue-tie called “frenulum” is formed inside their mouth and under their tongue. Tongue-tie is an important anatomical structure that ensures to attach the tongue to the floor of the mouth and also affects tongue movements. Developmental abnormalities may occur in some infants during the separation of the tongue from the floor of the mouth and the binding of the tongue to the floor of the mouth with the tongue-tie, which causes the tongue-tie to become thick and short. We call this situation “short frenulum” or “ankyloglossia”.
The exact cause of the formation of short frenulum has been not yet known. However, genetic factors are widely accepted to be led to tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) condition. It can be stated that tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) condition is more common in baby boys than in baby girls. If short frenulum is early diagnosed, infants can be prevented from having developmental problems.
What Happens if the Tongue-Tie is Short?
When the tongue-tie, which prevents the tongue from the tongue from sliding backwards and binds the tongue with the floor of the mouth, is short, wide or thick, infants may experience sucking problems, drooling from the mouth, inability to gain weight, swallowing air, sweating and developmental problems due to the inability of the tongue to fully perform its functions.
This problem, which is not noticed during babyhood, may cause speech disorders due to the restriction of the movements of the tongue in the mouth during childhood, inability to pronounce words normally, bad breath, impaired oral and dental health, swallowing problems, otitis media, chin deformities and self-esteem issues in children due to problems in the oral anatomy.
Short Frenulum Surgery in Infants: Painless, Sutureless and Bloodless Thermal Welding Method
Although anatomical problems are diagnosed in the tongue-tie in newborn infants, it can be waited for surgical intervention if health problems that may occur due to short frenulum are not found. Short frenulum surgery, which can be applied to children of all ages, is currently carried out using the Thermal Welding method.
“The main purpose of the tongue-tie surgery which I perform with painless, sutureless and bloodless thermal welding method is to ensure to release the tongue and to prevent possible health problems due to restricted tongue movements. During the short frenulum surgery I perform in infants under local anesthesia, I protect the nerves and veins located in the lower region of the tongue and separate the tongue-tie with heat energy. After the operation, the baby can immediately switch to normal feeding and start sucking.