Frenectomy Knoxville, TN

If you or your child have problems eating or speaking because of a tongue or lip tie, you may need a frenectomy in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Robert Cain also provides this treatment for adults with tongue tie and lip tie.

Most of us have a frenum, or frenulum. A frenum is a muscular tissue between your teeth, lip, and underneath your tongue. The lingual frenum more commonly causes issues because it connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Some people are born with a lingual frenum that runs all the way up to the tip of their tongue, also known as a tongue tie.

Frenectomy in Knoxville TN

Frenectomy in Knoxville, TN

A frenectomy is a relatively short, low-risk procedure that removes unnecessary frenum from the mouth. Reducing the frenum’s size for better oral health can happen at any age, but we only perform this treatment when the frenum causes problems.

This procedure may be necessary when certain issues arise when the frenum:

  • Prevents the tongue from moving freely.
  • Catches between the upper front teeth and causes a gap.
  • May pull gums away from the teeth, causing receding gums. This makes the gums susceptible to infection and bone or tooth loss
  • Can expand the space between teeth, causing a gap.
  • May need removal to ensure a quality fit for braces and dentures.

There are two kinds of frenum:

The labial frenum refers to the muscle tissue that attaches the inside of the upper part of the lip to the gums between the two upper front teeth. The labial frenum can cause a gap between the two front teeth. However, if a frenectomy isn’t enough to close the gap, then you may need braces.

The lingual frenum connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The problem occurs when the frenum connects all the way to the end of the tongue. Another term is ‘tongue-tied.’ Problems that arise from a connected frenum or being ‘tongue-tied’:

  • 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

A tongue or lip-tie can cause problems earlier in life. Babies with tongue or lip-tie can have trouble nursing, eating, or learning to speak. If left untreated, these problems can continue to create problems as you grow.

The Frenectomy Procedure in Knoxville, TN

We can complete the frenectomy procedure in as little as 30 minutes. You complete the procedure under local anesthetic, ensuring the patient is comfortable during treatment. High-quality lasers precisely and accurately remove any unnecessary frenum, causing little to no bleeding or pain after the procedure.

Traditional treatments use a scalpel. However, this is often painful. Instead, we can perform a frenectomy with a soft tissue laser. Laser treatment is much more comfortable for the patient.

The laser works by using light and heat to gently and precisely cut the band of tissue that restrain the lips or tongue. Using lasers versus a scalpel causes minimal bleeding and discomfort. This will shorten the healing time with little chance of complications.

Frenectomy Post-Op

Post-op care is extremely essential after a frenectomy. The best thing you can do is keep your mouth as clean as possible. You may feel minimal discomfort as the operation site heals over the next few weeks. Most people report little post-operative swelling or pain and resume normal function of their tongue and lips.

Some patients may not notice they just had surgery. The minimal discomfort or swelling should subside in about two to three days. You should still be able to eat normally. Following your post-op instructions will help promote proper healing and give you the desired results.

  • Brush and Floss: After treatment, continue to brush and floss your teeth and gums gently. Floss before you brush to remove leftover food and bacterial buildup from between your teeth. Then, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with non-abrasive ingredients. If you brush too hard or use abrasive toothpaste, it can damage your teeth and gums.
  • Use Gauze and Manage Pain: We will place gauze at the treatment site to help with slight bleeding. Replace the gauze if needed and gently bite down for five minutes. Our office will also recommend that you take pain medication for your comfort. If your child receives a frenectomy, they can safely take infant Tylenol.
  • Perform Exercises: We will recommend gentle exercises to help you heal comfortably. If your child gets treatment, you can gently perform the exercises for them.

Frenectomy FAQs

Learn more about frenectomy in Knoxville, TN, with answers to these common questions:

What is tongue-tie?

A tongue-tie patient has difficulties eating or speaking properly due to an elongated Lingual Frenum. This causes the tongue to become restricted, making eating or speaking difficult. A frenectomy may be necessary to return function to the mouth. This treatment will cut the band of tissue and release the tongue.

What is the recovery time after surgery?

If patients aren’t sedated during the procedure, they can usually return to regular activity. A recommended saltwater rinse or prescribed antibiotic mouthwash will help keep your mouth clean.

In the days after your surgery, avoid acidic and spicy foods. If you feel pain or discomfort, over-the-counter pain medication containing ibuprofen may help.

How do I prepare for my procedure?

First, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cain will determine whether treatment is right for you. Sometimes, we can fix a lingual frenum with speech therapy. If not, we will discuss the best option for you.

We will provide pre-operative instructions that can include which medications to avoid and fasting

If you need sedation for your frenectomy, we will recommend that someone else drives you to and from your appointment.

Our office will also give you post-operative instructions to help you plan. Generally, we recommend that you have ice packs and soft foods at home as you heal.

Contact Our Office

Get a comfortable frenectomy in Knoxville, TN. Call Dr. Robert Cain today at (865) 276-7173 or schedule an appointment online. Please ask us questions at your next visit; we’re here to help.