Frenectomies In Durham, NC

What Is A Tongue Or Lip Tie?

A tongue tie occurs when the band of tissue connecting your child’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth is thick and overdeveloped, and interferes with proper tongue movement. Lip ties are similar, but occur when the band of tissue that connects the upper and/or lower lips to the gums is overdeveloped.

Not every child needs a release that has an anatomic tongue tie or lip tie. Dr. Jenny is very conservative in her approach and will only recommend a release if the child presents with functional deficits. Tongue and lip ties can occur in infants, toddlers, and could be caught even into teens to young adulthood in some case. Contact Smile First Dentist now if you think that your child may be affected, and get the help you need in Durham, Chapel Hill, or Roxboro from Dr. Jenny

Recognizing The Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of tongue ties include difficulties lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving it toward either side of the mouth. Your child may also have problems sticking the tongue past the lower teeth, and a tongue that looks heart-shaped or notched when it’s stuck out all the way. This type of anatomy can impact functional challenges with airway, speech, feeding, poor sleeping patterns, and more.

Our Durham team works with multiple providers to help your child overcome these challenges. Lip ties also can also impact dental hygiene. You may have a hard time brushing as that upper lip tie area can be more tender to brushing and hard to maintain clean. This can sometimes result in cavities. Come in for an assessment if you are having a hard time brushing your child teeth, more specifically in the lip tie area. 

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Why Does My Child Need A Frenectomy?

The simple truth is not every child with an anatomical tie needs a frenectomy. There are varying degrees of ties. Dr. Jenny strongly believes it should be based on functional challenges. There are a few different reasons your child should get a frenectomy. A restriction could cause challenges with airway, mouth breathing, feeding, speech, poor sleeping patterns, dental hygiene and more. While the lip is easier to assess at initial visit, the functionality of the tongue is more involved. We partner with therapists, orofacial myofunctional specialists, feeding specialists, pediatricians, and ENT's to make the decision on whether a release is warranted. If a frenectomy is recommended, then we help our parents plan for the lip or tongue tie release procedure. 

Improve Breathing Function

Particularly in kids, a frenectomy allows the child to stretch their tongue to proper rest position (on the palate behind the front two teeth on the upper arch) that helps promote more effective nasal breathing.

Restore Speech

Tongue and lip ties can impair speech and cause speech impediments as your child grows. Getting a frenectomy from our Durham pediatric office prevents this from happening.

Prevent Orthodontic Issues

In some cases, tongue and lip ties can affect how your child’s teeth and jaws develop. For example, a serious tongue tie can lead to the development of an underbite. Frenectomies prevent this. 

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What To Expect With A Frenectomy Procedure

 The children that benefit from a frenectomy will have a quick procedure where the tongue or lip tie is released to expand upon your child’s oral range of motion. Dr. Jenny specializes in working with toddlers ages one and up. She performs this procedure using a highly specialized CO2 Light Scalpel laser, so your child will not need sutures and there will be minimal bleeding. Your child may experience some minor pain and discomfort up to 24 hours after their treatment. This level of pain can be managed with children’s Tylenol or Motrin. Dr. Jenny will give you a full list of recovery instructions and important exercises to follow.

The Benefits Of Laser Frenectomies

Treatment With No Bleeding, Minimal Risk of Infection 

The high power and heat of laser dental tools allows them to immediately cauterize (seal, and disinfect) tissue as the laser cuts through it. This means the nerves and blood vessels are sealed upon contact, virtually eliminating bleeding during laser frenectomy treatment.

Fast Recovery & Healing

Because the tissue is sealed by the laser, sutures are not usually needed for laser frenectomies at our Durham office. And because the treatment is less invasive overall compared to using traditional surgical tools, your child will recover and heal from the procedure a lot faster.

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Restore Your Child’s Oral Range Of Motion

With Frenectomies In Durham

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