Dr. Miller provides convenient and effective treatment for tongue ties in Winter Park, FL. Children with a tongue tie or lip tie often suffer from a range of symptoms that can impede their overall development. If you have concerns about your infant or growing child’s development or have been told that they have a tongue tie or lip tie, schedule a visit with Dr. Miller in our Winter Park pediatric dentist office. A laser frenectomy can be performed in our office with minimal to no discomfort and no post-treatment downtime.
What is a tongue tie?
A tongue tie is when a thin strip of tissue underneath the tongue does not separate before birth. This makes the tongue “tied” to the floor of the mouth, restricting normal tongue movement. This can also occur with the upper or lower lip, creating a lip tie.
Common Signs of a Tongue Tie
Present from birth, a tongue tie can often be the underlying cause of failure to thrive in infants. Left untreated, children can exhibit signs of difficulty with eating, speaking clearly, and even sleep problems. Common signs in babies can include:
- difficulty latching during nursing
- issues gaining weight, failure to thrive
- “clicking” noises while nursing
- feed longer and more frequently
- leaking milk from the mouth when feeding
- choking or gagging during feedings
- suffering from gassiness or colic due to discomfort
Nursing mothers may also experience symptoms that can be the result of a tongue-tied infant. These can include:
- cracked/sore nipples
- recurring mastitis
- painful nursing
Dr. Miller will perform an oral exam to identify a tongue tie and will discuss the laser treatment process if it is considered necessary. Identifying and treating a tongue tie early with a laser frenectomy will allow your baby to thrive and develop normally. If left untreated, tongue ties can lead to the following in older children:
- difficulty eating or taking longer for a child to finish a meal
- problems eating and swallowing firmer foods (ex. meat and potatoes)
- difficulty with speech and pronouncing certain sounds
- problems cleaning off the food/plaque from the back teeth with the tongue
- possible issues sleeping and breathing through the mouth
Laser Frenectomy: what to expect
The procedure for a laser frenectomy is relatively simple, quick, and performed with minimal discomfort. We use a state-of-the-art CO2 soft tissue laser that will simultaneously “vaporize” the unnecessary tissue, cauterize the vessels and sterilize to minimize the chance of infection.
After gently cleaning the area, Dr. Miller will use the handheld laser wand to quickly remove the tongue or lip tie. This will be completed in less than a minute. We will recommend any post-treatment care and exercises to ensure a complete and easy recovery.
Laser Frenectomy FAQs
A laser frenectomy can allow an infant or young child to grow and develop normally with the ability to enjoy a varied diet and speak with clarity and confidence. If you have additional questions regarding tongue ties please feel free to contact our office and schedule a visit or discuss your concerns at your child’s next dental care appointment.
Does a laser frenectomy require anesthesia?
We typically do not use any type of anesthesia when performing a laser frenectomy on an infant. If the child is between the ages of 1 and 4, we will often recommend sedation to get a complete release and perform it safely.
Can the frenulum reattach after a frenectomy?
It is possible for the healing tissue to reattach in the first week or two after a frenectomy. We often prescribe specific exercises to minimize the risk of this happening. Dr. Miller will also schedule a follow-up visit to look for any signs of reattachment.
Can I breastfeed after a frenectomy?
Most infants can breastfeed or bottle-feed right after the procedure or as needed that day.