Frenectomy or “Tongue Tie” Surgery in Columbus, OH
Stoner Periodontics has offices conveniently located in Dublin, New Albany, Springfield, and Chillicothe.
What is a Frenulum?
The frenulum of the tongue are small attachments of tissue that connect the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth and attach the insides of the lips to the gums. The gingival tissue is the gums themselves. The frenulum below the tongue is the lingual frenulum, and the frenulum attaching he lip to the gum is the labial frenulum.
Tongue Tie and Lip Tie
When the frenulum attaches too far towards the tip of the tongue, or too far along the inside of the lip, this is referred to as a “tongue tie” or a “lip tie”. Children born with tied frenulum can have difficulty nursing or speaking and may continually bite their tongues or suffer small cuts due to the tissue getting in the way when eating. Surgical intervention on the frenulum in a child’s infancy or very early childhood can be a quick procedure that corrects the issue almost instantly.
If the frenulum is not surgically corrected (using a procedure known as a frenectomy), it can cause more issues as the child ages, limiting their ability to feed and to speak. Tied frenulum can also cause gum recession as the gum is continually tugged on and begins to draw back and separate from the teeth, and can even lead to a gap between the front two teeth as the excess tissue wedges between them.
At Columbus’ Stoner Periodontic Specialists, modern dental technologies are used to offer incredibly advanced and virtually painless treatments to our patients. Our state-of-the-art laser technology is a smart piece of machinery that can target a specific area or tissue for precise removal without damage to surrounding tissues. This technology is typically used for the treatment of periodontal disease, gum recession issues, frenectomy procedures and other treatments when pinpoint precision and minimally invasive techniques are preferred.
A typical frenectomy (lip tie or tongue tie surgery) is a relatively simple procedure. When performed on newborns (as young as 3 months old), the procedure is no more than freeing the lingual frenulum under the tongue to allow the infant to latch correctly and feed normally. This procedure has minimal side effects and little or no recovery time. In most cases, the baby can begin feeding immediately afterward.
When a frenectomy is performed on a toddler or older child, a mild anesthetic is typically used. The frenulum is then separated using state-of-the-art laser gum therapy. A few sutures may be required depending on the severity of the tie and the amount of work needed to free the tongue or lip. The entire process is extremely short; typically, the laser frenectomy treatment only takes 15-30 minutes per patient.
Using laser therapy for childhood frenectomies has many advantages. Instead of using a cutting process, the laser simply contours the frenulum in the same way as it does gums for gum shortening, sealing tiny blood vessels as part of the process to minimize bleeding and completing the procedure with minimal discomfort on the part of the patient.
This method also makes the procedure easier on parents who understandably may be upset that their child is having to undergo a procedure at such a young age. The good news is that frenectomies have one of the highest success rates of all surgeries, results are instantaneous, and recovery is rapid.
Home Care After a Frenectomy
There is generally little or no post-treatment pain or swelling after a successful frenectomy. Infants can begin to breast or bottle feed directly after surgery and maintain full function of their mouths. Many young patients seem to suffer no discomfort or distress at all once the procedure is completed It’s important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your periodontist to ensure all issues have been corrected and healing is complete. In vary rare cases, a second frenectomy will be performed to fine tune the results and provide your child with optimal function of their lips and / or tongue. Once your child starts seeing a dentist for cleanings, they should continue seeing their dentist every six months. Let your child’s dentist know they had the procedure so their gum and frenulum tissue growth can be monitored as they age.
Ask us About Lip Tie or Tongue Tie Surgery for your Child
If you are interested in more information about lip tie or tongue tie surgery (frenectomy) at Stoner Periodontic Specialists, give us a call. One of our team members will answer your questions and can schedule you for an evaluation. A frenectomy can resolve many mouth issues for infants and young children and help their mouths develop properly while supporting feeding and speech capabilities.