Ankyloglossia, a condition often referred to as “tongue-tie,” is caused by an unusually short lingual frenulum, which is a membrane that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This is a congenital anomaly, which may decrease the mobility of the tongue tip. Frenotomy (also described as a frenulectomy or frenectomy) is the procedure to remove or cut the frenulum so that the tongue can move about more freely.
Potential complications from this procedure can include allergic reactions to local anesthetic shots. These reactions can be mild to severe. Swelling, bleeding, pain, injury to the salivary ducts under the tongue, or infection may also occur in rare cases. Some patients experience temporary numbness or limitation of movement of the tongue or the lip. When performed in infants, however, these complications are very rare and recovery is almost immediate.
After the procedure, the impacted area will look like a raw sore. This is very normal. There may be slight oozing of blood, but this generally stops within an hour. During this time, fold a piece of gauze over the wound and replace it as it gets soaked with blood.