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Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment/Frenectomy in Lorton, VA

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment/Frenectomy in Lorton, VA

The frenulum is the small piece of tissue that constricts movement in organs and prevents an organ in the body from moving too far. In the human mouth, we have the:

  • Lingual Frenulum: The tight cord underneath the tongue that holds it in a secure resting position
  • Labial Frenulum: The mechanisms that attach the upper lip to the upper jaw and the lower lip to the lower jaw

However, if a particular frenulum is too tight, it can lead to various developmental and overall health problems, including difficulty eating, speech impediments, and open-mouth breathing. To avoid impending issues, some family dentists and pediatricians suggest frenectomy. During this treatment, the dentist severs the frenulum to allow more movement.

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Indications for a Frenectomy

At Petite Smiles, Dr. Rashed uses laser dentistry during a standard procedure known as a frenectomy. The frenulum is a narrow strip of fibrous tissue under the tongue or underneath the lips. However, if your child was born with a tongue-tie or lip-tie, the frenulum restricts movement and pulls on the edge of the gum tissue.

Consequently, this unwanted force can pose challenges during breastfeeding, breathing, and other necessary daily activities. Plus, a tight frenulum can increase the risk of dental problems like gum recession, sensitivity, and tooth decay.

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What happens during a frenectomy?

If you believe your child has a tongue or lip tie, our dentist can perform a quick, convenient frenectomy. During this modern and proven procedure, our dentist vaporizes unwanted soft tissue with powerful light energy so that the frenulum no longer pulls on the tongue or lips. In some cases, your child’s dentist may determine a local anesthetic should be administered to ensure they do not experience discomfort during the procedure.

During a frenectomy, our dentist carefully applies a laser to cut through and cauterize the connective tissue underneath your child’s tongue or between the lip and gumline. We use lasers for tongue and lip tie surgery because this technology reduces discomfort, bleeding, and recovery time. Typically, this procedure takes only 1 to 2 minutes to complete.

In some cases, your child’s dentist may determine a local anesthetic should be administered to ensure they do not experience discomfort during the procedure. 

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Nursing & Feeding

Infants with a tongue tie often struggle while feeding, leading to extra fatigue and sometimes fussiness. Unfortunately, the restricted mobility of their tongues makes it difficult for them to eat comfortably – making it hard for babies to meet their nutritional needs from mealtimes, gain weight, and sustain overall health.

Not only can a tongue tie be frustrating for the baby, but it can also be incredibly frustrating for the mother—especially those that choose to nurse. If the band under a baby’s tongue is too short or thick, it causes difficulties with latching and can feel painful for mothers trying to breastfeed. Fortunately, a tongue tie can be corrected through release surgeries that help correct tongue movements, allowing for more efficient and comfortable nursing sessions. If you think your baby has a tongue tie, consult with Dr. Rashed so your young family can get back on track with breastfeeding!