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Mom and Baby

Tongue-tie is when the frenulum (the skin that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too short or attached too close to the tip of the tongue.

Lip-tie is when the maxillary labial frenum (the skin connecting the upper lip to the gums) is bound in a way that prevents lip movement.

What to Expect After a Frenectomy

A frenectomy is the procedure required to separate the tongue or lip from its fused position. The process involves a quick and straightforward laser surgery to cut the frenulum (for tongue-tie) or maxillary labial frenum (for lip-tie).

A white, diamond-shaped area may appear under the tongue after a frenectomy (or yellow if the individual is jaundiced). This is normal. It should diminish over the next week or two and disappear.

Pain Management Guidelines and Reattachment Prevention

Frenectomy pain is usually mild. However, the first 48 to 72 hours will be the hardest for infants. Pain can be relieved with over-the-counter drugs like Children’s Benadryl liquid, if necessary.

You can include comfort measures like skin-to-skin contact half an hour before feeding, breast milk ice chips on wound sites, Epsom salt warm bath float, massages, singing to your baby, spending more time at home and limiting guests.

While the wound typically heals easily, you must ensure it does not reform the tie. At the South Carolina Tongue Tie Center, we will show you several stretching exercises to avoid reattachment and scar tissue formation and to promote healing.

Feeding Your Infant After a Frenectomy

You can resume feeding your baby right away. Feed them as soon as they show indications of hunger. Do not leave the baby crying, because it increases the risk of the wound catching and tearing on your nipple, inducing bleeding. Therefore, frequent feeding after a frenectomy is the best solution.

Relearning How to Use the Mouth After a Frenectomy

After a frenectomy, lip and tongue movement can take time to return to normal. When a person’s lip or tongue suddenly becomes mobile, they must relearn how to use them. This applies to infants, children and adults for different purposes. For example, infants will have issues breastfeeding, which will improve with time, while children and adults will have to employ activities to practice correct movements for speech and mouth functions.

A consultation with an evaluation at the South Carolina Tongue Tie Center is the best way to learn more about our laser tongue and lip-tied release technique and assess your condition. Please contact us today if you or your child needs a frenectomy.

Posted on behalf of South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: 843-654-0459


Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm

Our Patient Reviews

South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 5 reviews

  • Talia H.

    Great experience with my visit to Dr. McPhearson and Carrie, hygienist. Dr. McPhearson is so patient, kind, and a perfectionist. She cares deeply that you have a great dental visit every time.

  • Maham A.

    I saw Dr. Caitlin McPherson and she is absolutely amazing. Not only does she make sure that everything is beautiful and functional, but she also treats every patient and their concerns with the utmost kindness.

  • Frankie W.

    Dr. McPherson is absolutely the best I highly recommend her and her team for all of your dental needs.

  • Phillip R.

    Everyone is so nice and they all seem to have good comradery. Mallory, Taylor, and Dr. Caitlin McPherson definitely know what they're doing!

  • Kyle A.

    The staff is always friendly & Dr McPherson does a great job every time!

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