Procedure is simple and helps to prevent tongue-tie, in addition to facilitating breastfeeding, when indicated; for the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, mandatory testing leads to unnecessary interventions
When former participants in the Big Brother Brazil Viih Tube and Eliezer told that their newborn daughter, Lua, had to having a frenectomy surgery in the first week of life, a lot of people were scared by the term. In more general terms, this procedure is extremely common and prevents, among other things, the child from being tongue-tied.
However, precisely because it is simple and easy to do, the topic is the subject of discussion among doctors: some argue that the diagnosis can be very early and without due care when assessing the need for intervention. Pediatric dental surgeon Fabiana Pimentel explains that the procedure consists of a small cut in the excess membrane that is below the tongue (causing the tongue to stick) or in the upper lip, between the incisors (causing diastema, a larger than usual space between the teeth). upper front teeth).
Since 2014, the Ministry of Health made law the Assessment Protocol of the French Language in Babies, better known as “Linguinha Test”, carried out in maternity hospitals shortly after birth. However, the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), filed for repeal of the law in 2019, arguing that this test causes unnecessary surgical interventions and makes it difficult to identify more severe cases. To date, there has been no revocation.
For the pediatric dentist, the need to make this type of diagnosis early helps breastfeeding the child. “What is most popularly known is the tongue tie, in speech, but this anatomy can make the baby unable to breastfeed properly, in addition to being able to impair the entry of air into the nasal brakes, disturbing breathing, and causing a later use of dental devices”, he says.
Why have childhood surgery?
Breastfeeding was one of the problems listed by Viih Tube. “Lua was born with a ‘brake’ on her tongue, she had a frenectomy, but before having the frenectomy, she breastfed. She had a suction bubble, she did several things. And knowing that I was wrong made it much easier”, he said.
The expert points out that incorrect breastfeeding can lead to low weight, which can evolve into a case of malnutrition. Bubbles usually represent that the baby is ingesting more air than the milk, which, in turn, tends to cause discomfort, such as colic or gas.
In addition, it is common for the mother’s breasts to present wounds and the milk to begin to “stone”, causing pain and discomfort. “I think that, in relation to the benefits (of the frenectomy), the risk is practically zero”, he says.
The complications that can be generated by the procedure involve, in addition to local pain, small hemorrhages or inflammation of the points. The anesthesia given is either local or topical anesthesia.
Can frenectomy be done on adults?
According to the specialist, the mandatory tongue test was one of the factors that contributed to the indication to parents to opt for surgical intervention as soon as possible. “It’s okay to do it as a child or as an adult, it’s still simple, it’s just not common today that it’s not done as a baby”, she says.
As with the baby, the cut in the membrane is done quickly and under local anesthesia, giving the patient two days of recovery at home. In this situation, the support of speech therapists is usually necessary – both in childhood, to improve diction, and later, to readapt. It is also common for the brake to impact the dentition, which can be corrected with orthodontic appliances.
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