If your infant or child is experiencing certain speech, eating, or orthodontic problems, we may recommend conducting a frenectomy. A frenectomy is the removal of connective tissue (called the frenum) from under the tongue or the upper gums.
Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion and function. With a tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick, or tight band of tissue (lingual frenum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth, so it may interfere with breast-feeding.
Someone who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks, and swallows.
Signs of tongue-tie include:
- Restriction of the tongue’s movement, which makes it harder to latch and breastfeed
- Difficulty lifting the tongue or moving it from side to side
- Difficulty sticking the tongue out
- The tongue looks notched or heart-shaped when stuck out
A labial frenum is the band of tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gums/jaw. Sometimes that band is very thick and too short. A lip-tie can cause problems with latching, feeding, speech, airway, dental hygiene, and tooth position.
Signs of lip-tie include:
- Restriction of the lip’s movement, making it difficult to latch and breastfeed
- Difficulty moving the lip freely
- Difficulty with hygiene of top teeth
- Large gap between front teeth
- Improper mouth posture, resulting in speech or airway concerns
Treatment of Lip/Tongue Tie
The treatment for a lip- or tongue-tie at Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates a simple surgical procedure called a frenectomy. We will examine the frenum tissues and then use our laser to release the frenum. Stitches are usually not necessary.
Since there are few nerve endings or blood vessels in the frenum, only a local anesthetic is used. Very little bleeding occurs, and the procedure is safe and effective.