If you take a peek under your lips or tongue, you’ll find a small muscular attachment known as a “frenum.” While it may not be that noticeable, this tissue plays a major role in the functionality of your mouth. However, for those born with ankyloglossia—or tongue-tie and lip-tie—the frenum is too tight or short. Since this condition can limit the development and oral health of children, Discovery Dental in Eagle River, AK, strongly recommends laser frenectomy.
This is a quick procedure that can reduce frenum tissue and restore oral functionality. During the procedure, a beam of light energy is used to precisely vaporize excess tissue. While some healing is necessary, the process doesn’t produce much bleeding or pain.
While some children with excess tissue may not need the procedure, laser frenectomy is worthwhile if your child could benefit from:
- Better Breastfeeding: Infants with ankyloglossia may have trouble moving their mouths to latch onto their mother’s nipple while breastfeeding. As a result, they may not be getting the nutrients and benefits breastfeeding can provide. While some healing time is to be expected, most babies can resume breastfeeding shortly after a laser frenectomy.
- Speech Improvement: While many children with ankyloglossia can speak without problems, some may have trouble articulating their words due to the limited movement of the tongue. If speech therapy is not helping your child, see if tongue-tie is a possible factor.
- Cavity Prevention: People with tongue-ties may also have trouble moving their tongue around to clean their mouth and dislodge food particles. In cases of a lip-tie, the lip may be too close to the gums and promote excessive growth of bacteria. As a result of either circumstance, children with frenum issues may have a higher risk of dental cavities.
If you’re concerned about your child’s tongue- or lip-tie, talk to a trusted dentist to see if a laser frenectomy would resolve the problem. Discovery Dental in Eagle River, AK is committed to providing effective, comfortable laser frenectomies and other dental care procedures for kids. To schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist, call the office at (907) 622-5437, or visit their website to learn more.