Tongue tie, a condition also known as ankyloglossia or anchored tongue, is something babies are born with. When a baby is tongue tied, the frenulum (the piece of soft tissue that connects the tongue to the base of the mouth) is unusually too tight, thick or short. You also have a frenulum that connects both the upper and lower lips to the jaw. A lip tie is when the frenulum between the lips and jaw is too tight, restricting movement. This condition can lead to many issues with eating, swallowing and speech.
Dr. Robert Cain is a periodontist in Knoxville, TN that offers treatment for patients who suffer from lip and tongue tie. He offers the advanced laser frenectomy procedure to help patients living with the adverse effects of being tongue tied. As an expert periodontist and dentist, Dr. Cain attracts patients from many surrounding communities. He is currently welcoming patients from Maryville, TN who are seeking treatment for tongue tie.
Why is Tongue Tie necessary to treat?
There are some children that grown up with a tongue tie and suffer from no ill-effects. Still, the risks of not treating it are vast and the people who have it treated experience a better quality of life. Babies that have lip or tongue ties may have issues latching on and breast feeding leading to issues with weight gain and insufficient nutritional needs. Older children may have issues making certain letter sounds and their speech will be affected. Poor speech development will lead to years of therapy to correct the issues with articulation. Poor oral hygiene and difficulty eating certain foods are also issues we see in older children who are tongue tied. They may not be able to properly clean their teeth and chewing certain foods can be difficult. Other long term negative effects include:
- Gum recession
- Loss of tongue movement
- Gapped teeth
- Speech issues
- Not optimal results from orthodontic treatments
- Dental restorations that do not fit corrently
- Sleep apnea
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Ear, nose and throat infections
- Strong gag reflex
Treatment for Tongue Tie
A frenectomy is a minimally invasive laser treatment that offers a permanent solution to tongue tie. This procedure is effective and safe for babies, children and even adults. In the past, to treat tongue tie, the frenulum was cut with surgical scissors or a scalpel to release the tension. A laser frenectomy is a revolutionary treatment that offers many benefits compared to the traditional method.
Dr. Cain can complete frenectomy in about 30 minutes in his Maryville, TN dentist office. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic to ensure the patients comfort. Dr. Cain uses high quality lasers to accurately remove a portion of the frenulum. This will release the tension between the tongue and the base of the mouth, giving the tongue a greater range of motion. The benefits of using lasers versus a scalpel include:
- Less bleeding
- Less pain
- Faster recovery
- Less discomfort
- Less chance of complications
Dr. Cain will give you instructions for post op care. When recovering from a frenotomy, it is very important to keep the mouth clean. You may experience slight discomfort and swelling for a few days. You should be able to eat normally too. Following the post op care instructions will ensure a speedy recovery and proper healing.