Frenectomy Becoming More Frenetic in Australia

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Frenectomy Becoming More Frenetic in Australia

  1. Home
  2. Dental Articles
  3. Children’s Dentistry Articles
  4. Frenectomy Becoming More Frenetic in Australia
Frenectomy Becoming More Frenetic in Australia_In Sunbury At Sunbury Dental House

‘Tongue tied’ is an expression we all commonly use but like many metaphors and analogies the real thing is often much more complex. Especially if it involves new born babies and their mothers. I remember well my own experiences as a father in the anxious days and weeks after my then wife had given birth to our child. It is a time fraught with feeling and freak outs. Frenectomies becoming more frenetic in Australia. What is a ‘frenectomy’? Basically it is a surgical intervention involving the tongue tie tissue under the tongue.

“A frenectomy, also known as a frenotomy, can refer to any procedure where binding tissue on the body is cut or modified. Frenectomy procedures are quite common, especially during the infant stage of life. Genital frenectomies, such as circumcision, for example, happen frequently in the United States. Most of the time, however, the term refers to an oral procedure meant to resolve a tongue tie or a lip tie. In your mouth, the “frenum” refers to a piece of soft tissue connected to the lips and gums. If the frenum is too short or too tight, it can interfere with breastfeeding, swallowing, or speech development.”
– Healthline.com

Frenum Release For Frantic Mums Trying To Breastfeed Their Newborns

I must admit that I did not hear about this at the time of my own children’s post birth period or, perhaps, did not register it among the myriad of other related issues raised. I was very aware of the breast feeding failure to latch on mini-crisis but maybe I was not privy to more detailed secret women’s business between midwife and my wife at the time. The miracle of birth is a magical albeit bloody pinnacle-time in the lives of parents. The responsibility for a new life can weigh heavily at the outset, however. There are tangible fears when you first take baby home from the hospital. New mothers wishing to breast feed can find this process initially a challenging experience. Midwives are wonderful guides in these instances. Modern Homo sapiens are far removed from the natural mammalian life in the 21C and our big brains often get in the way.

Frenectomy Becoming More Frenetic in Australia_At Sunbury In Sunbury Dental House

The Surgical Solution Releasing Tongue Ties In Babies

“If all you have is a hammer, then, everything looks like a nail.”

This well known saying serves true when it comes to surgeons in my experience. In their case the instrument is a scalpel. Professionals usually wish to solve problems with something in their own kit bag. I am only voicing an opinion on this topic and would advise further study of the evidence before reaching a definitive conclusion about the growing prevalence of frenectomies.

“A tongue-tie is when the tissue under the tongue restricts its movements and functions. In young babies it can impact their latch and ability to suck when breastfeeding, which may lead to low weight gain, according to Queensland Health. A GP can suggest a frenotomy, which is a surgical procedure where the lingual frenulum under the tongue — the tie — is released so that the tongue can move more easily.”
– ABC.net.au

One wonders what the long term consequences of these procedures will be to the lives of those who have had this surgical treatment. Perhaps, nothing much, but I would be interested in the results of such a study.

Cutting Up Bits Of Babies

Circumcision became a popular surgical procedure performed around the time of birth. This ancient practice emerged during our tribal past and continues to this day in modern hospitals boasting billion dollar budgets for their high tech medical machines like MRI’s.

“Some families choose to circumcise based on cultural or religious beliefs. Others choose to for hygiene or appearance. And some choose not to circumcise. Most circumcisions are done during the first 10 days (often within the first 48 hours) of a baby’s life.”
– KidsHealth.org

There is little scientific basis for circumcision but the practice continues for fashionable and cultural reasons. Having a penis that looks like daddy’s remains a key keeper for what some consider a barbaric practice in the 21C. Cutting little bits of flesh off baby, seemingly, remains popular with those in the obstetrics department of medicine. Improving upon nature must be their motto.

Convenience vs Safety

Convenience is the number one theme across many human pastimes and activities in the current era. We have the convenience of the internet and have seen how that is working out when it comes to the security of our financial dealings with one another. Banks have stopped looking after the security of our assets in favour of just taking fees for every transaction no matter the outcome. We have traded security for convenience, it seems. Technology promised faster but cannot guarantee safety. I would stop and have a think about the trade offs convenience demands in return, especially when it comes to babies and breastfeeding.

“As a private-practice lactation consultant in Brisbane, Rebecca Cavallaro sees herself as a “breastfeeding detective”. When a mother comes to her, suspecting their baby may have a tongue-tie, Ms Cavallaro says the first thing she does is assess their tongue function to determine whether surgical intervention is necessary. Lactation consultants do not have the ability to diagnose a tongue-tie, but can help address breastfeeding difficulties. She says some parents may be looking for a “quick fix”. “The truth is, for a lot of understandably desperate and frustrated parents, they’re looking for a solution,” Ms Cavallaro says.”
– Claudia Williams, 14th June 2024, ABC News

Some things in life can be initially challenging and making them easier is not always the way to go. We learn about stuff by meeting challenges and engaging with them. This may not be a popular position in a world where everything is becoming pre-digested. The forces of capitalism in medicine play their part in the equation as well, of course. We live in an increasingly ‘user pays’ world, where businesses think up product and service solutions for things we once considered natural stages of life. Give it a name, categorise it, medicalise it, and charge for it.

Note: All content and media on the  Sunbury Dental House website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

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