Frenectomies

Tongue ties are tongues with restricted movement caused by muscle tissue called the frenum that connects the tongue and mouth floor. Likewise, lip ties happen when the upper lip is tied down by the thick tissue. Both of these problems could complicate breastfeeding for babies. They can also lead to long-term dental problems like decay, recession, aesthetic concerns, and speech issues.

At Sprout Dental, we untie tongues and lips through a procedure called a frenectomy. It’s a tongue-twister in itself, but it’s also a gentle and effective way to improve dental health and movement by freeing up the tongue and/or lips. 

The laser doesn’t cut anything. Instead, it uses light energy to vaporize the excess tissue. This gentle approach leads to little discomfort, so little that some babies and children can sleep through the procedure. The laser also helps limit bleeding, and it sterilizes at the touch to help reduce infection.  

Post-Operative Instructions

We use a safe, diode laser to dissolve tissue under the tongue or upper lip and improve dental health and oral functions. Since the laser sterilizes at the touch, there is little risk of infection. The process also stimulates regeneration and healing with reduced risk of recurrence. 

Still, it’s best you keep an eye on it. Monitor the progress. And follow these post-operative instructions for the healthiest outcomes. 

Manage the discomfort
If there is discomfort, Tylenol and Ibuprofen (if 6 months of age or older) is the most effective way to help with pain and swelling. Cold compresses are helpful or icy treats for our older patients.

Watch the wound
The wound(s) may look gooey, white, or yellow in appearance for a few days following the procedure. This is normal. The body is simply making its own bandage and old tissue is getting ready to exfoliate.

Be sure to stretch
It’s important to stretch the mouth as much as you can following the procedure because the mouth can heal so quickly, there is a small chance the mouth may reattach which can effect the outcome of today’s procedure. 

Stretching the upper lip
This is the easier spot to stretch. If you are doing the lip and tongue, start with the lip. Place a finger under the lip and move it up as high as it will go (until you feel resistance.) Next, sweep from side to side for several seconds. Remember, you want to open the opposing surfaces of the lip and gum so they cannot stick together. 

Under the tongue stretches
To stretch under the tongue, insert both index fingers into the mouth and dive under the tongue. Pick up the posterior part of the tongue and lift toward the roof of the patient’s mouth.  Place your finger in the middle of the diamond and do a gentle circular stretch for several seconds to dilate or open up the diamond.

Breastfeeding
If you and your baby are breastfeeding, you can resume immediately. Breastfeeding will calm your baby and the milk will aid in healing. Latching may be difficult at first, but it should get better within an hour. Be patient. If your child had a posterior tongue tie, it may take longer, even a few weeks, before you see the benefits of the procedure. Again, patience is key. 

Frenectomy consultations can often be scheduled the same day, please call Dr. Kady at 570-253-0358.