Tongue-tie, also known as Ankyloglossia or anchored tongue, refers to a condition where the lingual frenum, or the skin that connects your tongue to the base of your mouth, is too tight. The problem occurs when the frenum is connected all the way to the end of the tongue. A tight frenum restricts a patient’s ability to use their tongue properly.
Tongue ties and lip ties can impact speech development and make it difficult to eat and swallow, especially in babies and toddlers. Tongue-tied problems include:
- Pain in jaw
- Harder to brush and floss
- Difficulties eating and speaking properly
- Older patients may have difficulties keeping dentures in place
- Higher risk of inflamed or irritated gums
Reasons To Correct A Tongue Tie
Tongue-tie can sometimes resolve when the frenum loosens as a child ages. However, surgical intervention is often necessary. There are several reasons a patient may want to correct a tongue tie.
Tongue ties can limit the tongue’s mobility, interfering with normal activity. Patients are born with this condition, which can impact their early speech development.
- Improve speech development
- Prevent gum recession
- Prevent gap teeth
- Better fit for dental restorations
- Better movement in the tongue
- A better orthodontic correction success rate
Treatment for Tongue Tie in Knoxville, TN
Knoxville, TN periodontist Dr. Robert Cain offers a frenectomy comprehensive treatment for tongue-tie. A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or releases the frenum. A standard and relatively quick procedure, Dr. Cain can detach the frenum releasing the tongue’s mobility.
The treatment to release or remove a frenum was once a surgical procedure involving sutures, more bleeding, and longer healing times. Dr. Cain uses innovative laser technology to reduce discomfort and swelling and allow the patient to heal faster. A laser frenectomy is a brief treatment that the dentist completes from the comfort of our dentist office.
It can usually be completed in just as little as 30 minutes. The procedure is completed under local anesthetic, ensuring the patient is comfortable during their treatment. High-quality lasers are used to precisely and accurately remove any unnecessary frenum, causing little to no bleeding or pain after the procedure.
Post-op care is extremely important after a frenectomy. Even though there is little chance of complications, keeping your mouth clean after the procedure is very important. Most patients only experience minor pain and swelling as the operation site heals over the next few weeks. Following your post-op instructions will help promote proper healing and give you desired results.
The dentist uses a state-of-the-art dental laser. Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding and swelling, eliminates the need for painful sutures, and allows for faster healing times. Laser frenectomy allows patients to return to their daily lives almost immediately with minimal discomfort or side effects.
Request an appointment with Dr. Cain and schedule an evaluation for your child. A laser frenectomy is a safe, effective, and permanent treatment for tongue-tied babies and children.
Tongue Tie FAQs
What speech sounds are affected by tongue tie?
Patients with tongue tie may struggle to pronounce certain letters, sounds, and words. The most common ones that tongue-tie interferes with are t, d, z, s, th, r, and i. All of these letters require the use of the tongue to pronounce them correctly.
Can tongue-tie affect sleep?
Tongue tie and sleep apnea have a strong correlation. Most patients with either of these tend to breathe through their mouth and have trouble sleeping.
How long does tongue-tie surgery take?
Tongue-tie surgery is a very short operation. Using lasers allows dentists to perform tongue-tie procedures in less than 5 minutes.