A frenulum (also called frenum) is the small flap of tissue that connects the tongue or lips to the gum area. When the frenum that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth restricts movement, it’s referred to as a tongue tie. Similarly, if the frenum that connects the lips to the gums is too restricted, it’s referred to as a lip tie.

In infants, an abnormal frenulum can make it difficult for the baby to properly breastfeed and breathe. In children, a child with a lip tie or tongue tie may have difficulty chewing, talking, and even swallowing.

In most cases, having an abnormal frenulum is much more urgent in infants and should be addressed as soon as possible. Dentists can correct lip or tongue ties by making a small incision in the frenum to release, reduce or remove it. This lip and tongue tie surgery is known as a frenectomy, which allows for normal function in the mouth without restricted movement.

When Do You Need a Dental Frenectomy?

The most common signs of needing frenulum surgery show up when parents bring home a new baby from the hospital. Symptoms of a lip tie or tongue tie in infants include:

  • Inability to latch during breastfeeding
  • Mouth breathing
  • A dislike for lying on their backs due to a blocked airway causing difficulty breathing

Not all lip ties or tongue ties, however, are detected in newborns. Symptoms may not be noticeable until the child is a little older and may include:

  • Difficulty lifting or sticking out tongue (inability to touch the roof of mouth)
  • Gap between upper front teeth
  • Trouble with word pronunciation

Your child’s dentist will be able to identify signs of a restricted frenulum during a check-up, which is why it is imperative to stay current with routine appointments.

Laser Frenectomy at Sycamore Hills

Finding out that your infant or child needs a frenectomy procedure may seem overwhelming. You will want to find a qualified dentist who has experience correcting tongue ties and lip ties. At Sycamore Hills Dentistry, we are proud to offer laser treatment for lip and tongue ties and can diagnose if this type of procedure is right for you or your child. Our advanced laser technology allows us to provide the fastest, safest, and most precise way of resolving an abnormal frenulum.

The treatment starts by completely numbing the affected area. This allows the patient to remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Using a special laser, the dentist will carefully make an incision in the tissue to detach the frenulum without causing any damage to the soft tissues. This allows for free mobility of the lips or tongue. Following treatment, we will provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure a quick and successful recovery for your infant or child.

If you have questions, we would love to meet with you and your child. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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