Tongue and Lip Ties in Fulshear

What is a frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a procedure that releases the band of fibrous tissue (frenum) located under tethered oral tissues (TOTS) such as the tongue or upper lip to improve the range of motion of these structures. This short procedure is typically completed using a soft tissue laser which “vaporizes” the tissue and minimizes bleeding. Healing is quicker and more efficient with a laser since it stimulates bio-regeneration. Frenectomies may benefit infants, children, and adults by improving speech, airway, development, digestive, periodontal, and orthodontic issues.

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Did you know…

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The famous violinist Niccolò Paganini was believed to have had a frenectomy, enhancing his musical abilities.

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The Frenectomy Treatment Process

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Numb The Area

Anesthetize (numb) the area with local anesthetic: The first step of frenectomy treatment involves administering a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. This ensures that the patient experiences minimal discomfort during the procedure with their dentist in Fulshear.

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Laser Removal

Use a diode laser to remove tissue and promote healing: After the area is numb, a diode laser is used to precisely remove the frenulum tissue. The laser helps to minimize bleeding and promotes faster healing compared to traditional surgical methods.

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Sutures & Follow Up

Place sutures if necessary and post-op care: In some cases, sutures may be required to close the wound and aid in healing. After the procedure, the patient will be instructed on post-operative care, including any necessary medications and wound care. Additionally, the patient is scheduled for a follow-up appointment in one week and one month to assess healing progress and address any concerns. In certain situations, patients may need myofunctional (speech) therapy to adapt to the newly acquired range of motion in the tongue and improve speech. This therapy helps strengthen the tongue and surrounding muscles, ensuring optimal function and recovery after the frenectomy procedure.

Benefits of Frenectomies

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Better breathing

Tongue and lip tie releases can improve breathing by addressing restrictions in the oral cavity. When the ties are released, it allows the tongue to move freely, which can lead to better airway function. This can be especially beneficial for infants, children, and adults who may have experienced breathing difficulties due to restricted tongue movement. Improved breathing can enhance overall sleep quality and respiratory function.

Clearer speech

Tongue and lip tie releases can positively impact speech clarity. Tongue ties, in particular, can affect speech production by limiting the tongue's range of motion, resulting in difficulties with articulation and pronunciation. By releasing these ties, individuals can experience improved speech development and articulation, leading to better communication and language skills.

Improved oral health

Tongue and lip tie releases can contribute to better oral hygiene. Ties can create tight spaces between teeth and gums, making it challenging to clean effectively. By releasing these restrictions, it becomes easier to maintain proper oral hygiene, reducing the risk of dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Successful orthodontics

Tongue and lip tie releases can aid in orthodontic treatment. Ties can cause dental misalignments or make it difficult for braces or aligners to work effectively. Releasing the ties allows teeth to move into their correct positions more easily, leading to more successful orthodontic outcomes.

Increased taste

Tongue tie releases can enhance the ability to taste food. The tongue plays a crucial role in detecting flavors, and when it is restricted, the sense of taste may be diminished. After the release, individuals may experience an improvement in their taste perception, leading to a more enjoyable eating experience.

TMJ pain relief

Tongue and lip tie releases can alleviate temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Ties can lead to improper jaw alignment and muscle tension, contributing to TMJ disorders and associated discomfort. Releasing the ties can help restore proper jaw function, reducing TMJ pain and improving overall jaw mobility.

Improved breastfeeding

Tongue and lip tie releases can positively impact breastfeeding for infants and their mothers. Ties can hinder the baby's ability to latch properly and extract milk efficiently, leading to feeding difficulties and discomfort for both the baby and the mother. Releasing the ties can allow for a better latch and more effective breastfeeding, promoting better nutrition and bonding between the infant and the mother.

Did you know…

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Frenectomies have been performed for centuries, even dating back to ancient Egyptian times.

Have questions about Frenectomies? Find answers here.

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Why is a frenectomy needed?

Generally, tongue and lip ties present an array of issues. In infants, these soft tissues can cause difficulty breastfeeding due to the baby’s inability to properly latch. Restrictive tissues can also lead to dental decay, spacing, speech difficulty, airway problems, jaw pain, and digestive issues. Normal function of the tongue and lip is imperative for proper growth and development.

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How do restrictive tethered oral tissues (TOTS) affect development?

Restrictive tongue mobility can affect maxillofacial development because it is associated with narrowing of the maxillary arch and elongation of the soft palate. A short lingual frenulum (tissue underneath the tongue) can also lead to disrupted orofacial growth which is a risk factor for sleep disordered breathing.

What instructions should I follow once this procedure is completed?

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Be gentle with the surgical area and complete warm salt water rinses as needed. The wound site will look white and/or yellow and might be gooey in appearance. This is normal. Please ensure you do not eat anything spicy, abrasive, or too hot that will irritate the tissue. You may use over-the-counter analgesics such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, as directed by your doctor. Stretching exercises may also be recommended.