What’s a Frenectomy – And Do I Need One?
Generally speaking, a frenectomy is when a surgeon cuts or trims connective tissues on your body, usually tissues that hamper the performance of one or more of those parts. Most often, the term refers to one of two dental procedures that can help you or your child’s mouth, jaw, and gums perform at their optimal levels. Also called a tongue-tie or lip-tie release, these procedures are safe and effective for patients of all ages.
Do I Need a Frenectomy?
Dentists perform frenectomies in two cases:
- Tongue tie: When the tissue that connects your tongue to your mouth is too tight or short, it can restrict your tongue’s movement, interfering with your ability to speak, sing, or even eat comfortably. In infants, it can even interfere with breastfeeding.
- Lip tie: A lip tie occurs when the piece of connective tissue that joins your gum to your upper lip is too short. It, too, can cause problems with speaking, singing, and eating. A lip tie can also interfere with the proper development of healthy gums and teeth, mainly because the condition makes it difficult for you to clean your gums and front teeth. As a result, you’re more susceptible to gum disease or other oral health issues.
Usually, paediatricians or dentists check for tongue or lip tie early in a child’s life, especially if they have difficulty feeding or gaining weight. The sooner you decide on surgery for your infant, the better their chance for optimum teeth and gum development.
However, some adults never had access to such screenings as infants. Many of them struggle with speech issues or have difficulty in moving their tongue or upper lip. If this describes you, you should see your dentist for a screening. There’s no reason to suffer with what is a highly treatable condition.
Will a Frenectomy Hurt Much?
With today’s highly evolved dental technology, laser surgery has taken most of the discomfort out of tongue-tie and lip-tie release procedures. Dentists can usually perform a laser frenectomy in their office surgery.
Laser surgery also reduces the risk of infection or other complications. Healing is fast, and your mouth is nearly back to normal in about a week or two. During your recovery, over-the-counter pain relievers usually can handle any discomfort, which is minimal with a laser frenectomy. You’ll just need to eat soft foods, such as yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, or mashed potatoes, for about a week afterwards until you heal completely.
One thing is for sure: you or your child will have more pain and difficulties if you leave the condition untreated. In children, going without treatment can affect the shape of their mouth and their growth and development. Since frenectomies are well-tolerated – especially in young children – there’s little reason to refuse treatment.
At Integrity Dental, we use only the latest laser equipment to provide our frenectomy patients with the ultimate in comfort and rapid healing. Our extensive comfort menu allows you to choose the methods of pain control that work best for you or your little ones.
So, don’t put up with the discomfort of a tongue or lip tie a moment longer. Book your consultation with one of our frenectomy-experienced dental surgeons today!