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Frenectomy in Waco

Tongue tied babyYou’ve probably heard the expressions, “tongue-tied,” or “lip-tied” and wondered what they actually mean. Both refer to an oral condition that happens when a thin stretch of tissue in the mouth is overgrown. This tissue is called the frenum. To avoid immediate and long-term problems, your dentist may recommend a quick procedure called a frenectomy in Waco.

Where are the Frena?

There are actually two frena in everyone’s mouth. One is under your tongue and is called the lingual frenum. There are two others that are called labia frenum. These are located at the center of your lips and connect the inside of your upper and lower lips to your gums.

Why Do We Have Frena?

Nursing babyFrena do serve a purpose. They are there to limit certain muscle movement. However, when movement is too restricted, as can be the case with a baby’s lingual frenum, problems can develop.

Most notably, a baby with an overgrown lingual frenum may have difficulty nursing, taking a bottle and swallowing. Consequently, these infants may not gain weight and ultimately fail to thrive because of being tongue-tied.

Other signs that a baby may be tongue-tied include:

Beyond infancy, a growing child who is tongue-tied may face other difficulties ranging from continued difficulty eating and speech impediments as well as a misaligned bite or periodontal problems.

What is the Solution to Tongue- or Lip-Tie?

bottle fed babyYour dentist in Waco can remedy the problems connected with both tongue-tie and lip-tie with a simple oral surgery called a frenectomy. Using laser technology, the overgrown frenum is severed, making movement more natural and easier. General anesthesia and stitches are usually not necessary. Afterwards, most babies and children are able to go about their normal activities. Among infants, nursing becomes more productive and health benefits happen almost immediately.

Laser surgery offers greater precision, kills oral bacteria, and reduces bleeding, swelling and pain. For the first couple of days after a frenectomy, you may notice a small amount of blood in your baby’s saliva or spit up. This is not a reason for alarm.

However, if you notice redness or swelling at the frenectomy site, or if your baby develops a fever or seems too fussy, then see your pediatrician or an emergency room doctor. An age appropriate dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may be needed.