Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
Do you know what a frenum is? We all have frenum tissue located at different spots in our body, with two in the mouth: the lingual frenum that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the labial frenum, which attaches the upper lip to the upper dental arch. Sometimes, a frenum is too short, restricting the range of motion of the lip or tongue and, with it, the ability to function at its best. If you or someone you love has a frenulum that is too short, it needs to be identified and released as quickly as possible by a qualified dentist like Dr. Albert Starr at Laser Dentistry of Erie. This procedure is known as a frenectomy, and this article will explain why a frenectomy is so important to help restore full function, and how that benefits your health.
Living with a restricted frenum has consequences
If a frenum is too short, it can hinder your oral health and well-being. A tongue-tie refers to a restricted lingual frenum, while a lip-tie refers to a restricted labial frenum. These conditions usually are identified during infancy or young childhood, although it may be overlooked well into adulthood. That’s where a frenectomy becomes a highly-valued treatment tool. The symptoms of living with a tongue-tie or lip-tie start in infancy and only get worse and magnify as a person ages, because of negative habits that develop unconsciously in reaction to the limited range of motion of the lip or tongue. The consequences can include difficulty breastfeeding for infants, and problems with swallowing or speech development in children. An adult living with a tongue-tie or lip-tie may be dealing with nutritional deficiencies, a speech impediment, or even lowered self-confidence because of the difficulties eating and speaking.
A frenectomy restores full function
Improving function is the primary reason to have a frenectomy performed, but not the only reason. Releasing a tongue-tie or lip-tie also can eliminate any existing oral discomfort, improve the ability to speak, and even increase appetite because eating is easier.
At Laser Dentistry of Erie, completing a frenectomy is extremely convenient. We can perform this procedure even on young infants thanks to the use of our precise dental laser technology. Through the use of our state-of-the-art soft tissue laser, releasing the tongue-tie or lip-tie can be completed in a matter of seconds. The laser is applied to the target area, instantly cauterizing the incision, which means less bleeding than traditional surgical methods, and quicker healing time. The end result means the procedure is completed in less time, with less bleeding and minimal risk of infection. The procedure also is more comfortable; in many cases, even young infants can undergo a laser frenectomy without needing a local anesthetic or numbing agent.
Frenectomy in Erie
Early diagnosis of a tongue-tie or lip-tie is key. Find a more extensive list of symptoms of one of these frenum restrictions as it relates to various stages of life. If you are identifying any of these problems in someone you love, make an appointment with Dr. Starr today by calling (814) 825-2615.
Laser Dentistry of Erie is here to serve the oral health needs of our patients in the areas of Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek, PA.