The oral function of your child’s tongue and swallowing patterns play a key role in their oral development, speech patterns, and even their diet. If your infant, toddler, or child has a tongue or lip tie, correcting it can help to improve muscle patterns and normal oral function.
A tongue tie occurs when the thin piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenum) is too short or tight. This can restrict their tongue's movement, making it difficult for your child to speak, eat, or swallow properly. They can also result in speech impediments.
Tongue ties may affect an infant’s ability to nurse or even cause discomfort for nursing mothers. In most cases, tongue tie treatments provide immediate improvement.
A lip tie occurs when the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums (labial frenum) is too thick or tight, which can also lead to difficulty with breastfeeding, speech, and oral hygiene due to the tightness of the upper lip.
Correcting a tongue or lip tie can help improve your child's oral function and prevent future dental problems. Frenectomies are quick and minimally invasive procedures that involve reducing or thinning the excess tissue to release the tongue or lip tie. This allows for improved lip or tongue movement, making it easier to speak, eat, or nurse.
At Westside Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Petr Vaughan uses minimally invasive methods to perform infant, toddler, and pediatric frenectomies. This allows for precise and gentle treatment with minimal discomfort and faster healing times compared to traditional surgical methods.
During the procedure, we will numb the area with a local or topical anesthetic to ensure that your child is comfortable. We will then use a laser or other instrument to release the excess tissue and promote healing.
After the procedure, your child may experience some mild discomfort or swelling, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and a cold compress or chilled foods. We will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.
Dr. Petr Vaughan will conduct a thorough examination of your child's mouth and determine if a frenectomy is necessary. He can see patients as young as newborns if you suspect that your infant has a tongue or lip tie. We will also discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have to ensure that you feel comfortable and informed.
If you are concerned that your child may have a tongue or lip tie, or if you have noticed difficulties with breastfeeding, speech, or oral hygiene, contact us at Westside Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an evaluation.