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Correcting Tongue and Lip Tie with a Soft-Tissue Laser

June 4, 2019

Some children are born with a very small amount of soft tissue that prevents the child from engaging in certain everyday activities. This problem can be corrected with a quick, easy soft-tissue laser surgery.

The lingual frenulum is the thin strip of tissue that can be found underneath your tongue. This soft tissue essentially attaches the very bottom of your tongue to the floor of the mouth. In order to properly engage in certain activities, such as eating, drinking, and speaking, the tongue and lips need to be able to freely move around.

Correcting Problems with Lip or Tongue Tie Surgery

Lip or tongue tie surgery is designed to clip the small amount of soft tissue that is preventing the tongue or lips from moving freely. This surgical procedure, which uses a soft-tissue laser, is the preferred method of treatment for lip and tongue ties because it can be done in the comfort of a pediatric dental office.

No anesthesia is required for this type of surgery. Instead, a pediatric dentist will administer a small amount of local anesthetic to the tongue or lip area. The local anesthetic will numb the area and prevent your child from experiencing any pain.

Once the area is properly numbed, your pediatric dentist will use a soft-tissue laser to neatly cut the excess tissue that is holding the tongue in place.

No Stitches or Bleeding is Involved

Mos pediatric dentists prefer soft-tissue surgery to other treatment options for lip or tongue tie is because it doesn’t require stitches. There is also little bleeding involved after the procedure.

Stitches are not used because the laser neatly and precisely cuts the soft tissue. Making such a small incision eliminates the need for stitches. The small incision also prevents any excessive bleeding from occurring during the procedure.

Preventing Future Problems by Choosing to Undergo Lip Tie or Tongue Tie Surgery

Having your child undergo lip tie or tongue tie surgery can help prevent them from experiencing a number of problems with their oral health and speech.

Some of the problems that are corrected with this type of surgery include:

  • Inability to get proper nutrition due to not being able to breastfeed properly
  • Pain and discomfort that occurs when breastfeeding
  • Difficulty with making the proper sounds of certain words and letters
  • Difficulty removing plaque and food particles from around the gum line
  • Challenges with eating or enjoying certain activities such as playing instruments, eating ice cream, or licking lips

Lip and Tongue Tie Release Surgery is Relatively Painless

Lip tie and tongue tie surgery are not completely pain-free. Slight pain and discomfort can follow the completion of this type of surgery. Luckily, the pain and discomfort only last 24 to 48 hours.

If your child does experience any pain or discomfort from surgery, some ways to relieve pain include:

  • Applying a cold compress to the mouth area
  • Providing your child with cool – not extremely cold – drinks or foods
  • Breastfeeding – breastfeeding provides a natural sense of comfort to the child that helps reduce any pain and discomfort
  • Giving your child over-the-counter pain relievers – speak with your doctor or pediatric dentist before giving your child any medications

If you notice your child is experiencing pain or discomfort when eating or speaking, you may want to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist to discuss lip or tongue tie surgery. A pediatric dentist can conduct a quick oral examination and determine if a lip or tongue tie is causing the problems.

Call Dr. Maggie Davis to Discuss Your Child’s Options

Looking for a pediatric dentist in Palm Harbor? Dr. Davis is an experienced pediatric dentist who can help you discuss your child’s options with soft tissue laser treatment for tongue and lip tie. Contact Dr. Maggie Davis today to see if your child could benefit from our services!

Not sure if your child is suffering from tongue and lip tie?

Take Our Free Infant Frenum Assessment Today!

Understanding Tongue and Lip Ties

October 18, 2017

Filed under: Tongue and Lip Tie — drmaggie @ 3:21 pm

Tongue and lip ties can affect a baby’s ability to move their lips and tongue and feed, especially if the baby is breastfed. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Maggie Davis, can examine your baby’s mouth to determine if he or she is tongue or lip tied and perform a frenectomy to release the tissue and promote normal lip and tongue movement.

Understanding Lip Ties

Lip tie occurs when the frenum connecting the upper or lower tip is too short or too tight. The frenums that connect the upper and lower lips to the gums are called labial frenums. When they are tight or short, they can cause difficulty moving the lips, speaking and eating.

Symptoms of Lip Tie

  • You have to breastfeed for an abnormally long period of time.
  • You hear popping or clicking noises while your infant breastfeeds.
  • Your infant is having trouble latching.
  • Your nipples are abnormally painful or discolored after breastfeeding.

Signs You Should See a Pediatric Dentist

  • Your baby can’t feed properly.
  • Your baby is abnormally fussy even after feeding.
  • You can visually confirm the frenum is connected to the lower portion of the gum.
  • Your older child has a gap between the top two teeth or bottom two teeth that could be caused by the frenum.

Understanding Tongue Tie

Tongue tie occurs when the frenum, which is a tough band of tissue that connects two other tissues to limit movement. The frenum that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is called the lingual frenum. Almost everyone has some degree of lingual frenum, and it most individuals it causes no problems. However, when the lingual frenum is excessively tight or short, it can limit the movement of the tongue. In babies, this can cause difficulty latching onto the breast or a bottle. In older children, it can affect speech development.

Symptoms of Tongue Tie

  • Your baby or child has difficulty moving their tongue, especially from side to side.
  • Your baby or child cannot extend his or her tongue farther than the edges of the front teeth.
  • Your baby or child’s tongue appears abnormally short, notched or heart-shaped.

Signs You Should See a Pediatric Dentist

  • Your infant isn’t latching correctly or is having problems with feeding.
  • Your child is having trouble with his or her speech development due to being unable to properly move their tongue.
  • Your child complains of problems related to tongue tie.

Frenectomies for Tongue and Lip Ties with our Pediatric Dentist in Palm Harbor

If you suspect your child has lip or tongue tie, our pediatric dentist had created an online checklist of baby/mother signs and symptoms that you can use to help determine if your child needs to see our dentist for an examination and possible frenectomy.

Our pediatric dentist in Palm Harbor, Dr. Maggie Davis, performs soft tissue laser frenectomies, which offer improved benefits over frenectomies that are performed with a scalpel or pair of medical scissors. Laser frenectomies result in better precision, less bleeding and improved recovery times.

This procedure only takes about 30 seconds and involves removing the tight frenum. Just prior to the procedure, our dentist will numb your infant’s or child’s mouth to ensure no pain is felt. Then, the laser will be used to remove the tight or short frenum, which helps improve the movement of the tongue and/or affected lip.

After the procedure, you and your baby or child can rest and recover in a private room until you feel comfortable enough return home. Our dentist will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions that will include certain lip and tongue stretches. Performing lip and/or tongue stretches after the frenectomy helps ensure proper healing and reattachment of the frenum. Dr. Maggie Davis can give you tips and tricks for helping your baby or child perform these movements naturally.

Babies and children tend to experience some discomfort for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Breastfeeding or skin to skin contact with your baby’s mouth can help alleviate the discomfort. However, if these tips fail to provide adequate relief, you can use infant or children’s Tylenol. Our dentist can help you determine the proper dosages and answer your questions.

To schedule a pediatric dental exam for your infant or child, call us at 727-786-7551.