Tongue Tie FAQ

tongue tie faqKnoxville and Maryville, TN

Do you have a child or infant who has been diagnosed with a tongue-tie or lip-tie? If so, getting the tethered oral tissue removed is crucial to the oral health and development of your child.

You can trust Dr. Tommy Spears and Dr. Jake Goza, along with their staff at Crestview Dental Care, to release a tongue-tie or lip-tie by performing a frenectomy with our state-of-the-art carbon dioxide (CO2) laser by Light Scalpel.

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding post-operative care following a frenectomy.

Stretching exercises are important for your child following a frenectomy. You can perform these stretches while they sleep, or during awake time, and do not need to wear gloves during the process.

Q: How often should the stretching take place?

A: Stretch the tongue and/or lip two or three times a day for 10 to 14 days. These stretches can be completed before or immediately after each feeding or nursing session. 

Q: How hard and long should you stretch the area?

A: Stretch long enough to open up the entire diamond—at least five to 10 seconds. If you see a red line in the area that is healing, you are not stretching the area adequately.

Certain symptoms are common following a frenectomy.

These include: 

  • A white area that is developing at the site of the frenectomy. This is normal—not sign of an infection.
  • Swelling in the upper lip following the removal of a lip-tie
  • Bleeding after the procedure. Placing a regular teabag on the area that is bleeding for approximately three to five minutes can treat this.
  • Excessive drooling following a tongue-tie is common because the newfound mobility of the tongue stimulates the flow of saliva.
  • Crying is common and, for infants, can occur about three hours after a frenectomy after the analgesic effects of the laser have dissipated. An infant pain medication or a teething gel can be used to manage any discomfort.

When can I expect to see improvements in the breastfeeding of my child?

Infants typically exhibit an improved latch when they breastfeed. This improvement could be seen immediately or take as long as a week to show itself. If there is an immediate improvement and then discomfort or latching issues return, you may need to use more force when stretching the site of the frenectomy.

Newborns who undergo a frenectomy might not develop a good latch until a few days after the procedure.

Make sure to consult your pediatrician and lactation consultant following a frenectomy to ensure your baby is latching properly when breastfeeding.

Using a carbon dioxide laser to remove tethered oral tissue performs the procedure in less time than traditional surgery, with less bleeding, less discomfort, and a faster recovery time. We also can perform a laser frenectomy on newborns who are as young as just two days old.

If your child has a frenectomy scheduled or has had one using the Light Scalpel CO2 laser, and you have any additional questions, call the office of Crestview Dental Care today at (865) 982-1700.

Crestview Dental Care serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Maryville and Knoxville in east Tennessee.