What is a Frenectomy?
Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
Tongue ties and lip ties occur when the frenulum that anchors the tongue or the lip is too short or too tight. A tongue tie can prohibit an infant from being able to nurse effectively, or even at all. It can cause significant pain for the mother as well. A tongue tie can even affect the ability of an infant to feed from a bottle.
A tongue tie can affect more than just the ability of a child to nurse. As your child grows older, it can affect proper speech development. It can make swallowing properly more difficult, or even affect the growth and development of the mouth. Additionally, a tongue tie can also affect the ability of your child to enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood, including licking an ice cream cone or sticking out their tongue to catch a snowflake in the winter.
A lip tie can also affect the ability of an infant to latch and nurse properly, which can, in turn, cause significant pain for the mother. In addition to poor latch, a lip tie can also lead to the development of a space between the two front teeth, known as a diastema. Not only can this affect the smile of your child, but it can also increase their risk of developing cavities and raise their risk for repeated frenulum trauma.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a procedure that involves cutting the frenulum. This is done to enable the tongue or lip to move more freely and effectively. In the past, the frenectomy was performed using a scalpel, and involved stitches afterward. Today, however, the procedure is performed using a laser. The laser vaporizes the tissue and cauterizes as it cuts. With a laser, the procedure causes much less discomfort. It can also reduce the risk of infection as well as reduce downtime.
Benefits of a Frenectomy
There are many benefits of a frenectomy.
What to Expect After Treatment
Performing a frenectomy with a laser greatly reduces bleeding and discomfort. The laser also stimulates tissue healing, which can aid in promoting faster healing. Following a frenectomy for a breastfed child, you can nurse immediately. If a local anesthetic has been used, your child may have some difficulty at first. Breastmilk contains healing properties for your child and can provide them with comfort after the procedure is complete. Keeping the mouth clean following a frenectomy is important for preventing infections. We will provide you with specific instructions for aftercare once the frenectomy is complete.
A frenectomy can help to correct feeding complications and prevent developmental complications later. For more information, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.