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Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment – Carmichael, CA

Effective Treatments for Lip and Tongue Ties

patient smiling while talking to dentist

Believe it or not, seemingly minor issues can have significant consequences. A small tissue concern in the mouth, such as a lip or tongue tie, can affect breastfeeding, speech development, and overall growth. Fortunately, Dr. Ji specializes in addressing these issues through a procedure called a frenectomy. For more information on this treatment, continue reading or give us a call to schedule a consultation!

How Do Lip and Tongue Ties Develop?

child with lip and tongue tie

Lip and tongue ties occur when the skin under the tongue or upper lip is too thick or short. These little bands, called frenums, can limit movement in the mouth and cause various issues. They usually form before birth, and while the exact cause is unclear, it could be linked to genetics or not receiving enough nutrients during pregnancy. Parents should watch for signs like difficulty breastfeeding, digestive issues, and fussiness in babies. Breastfeeding mothers might also feel pain or notice cuts on their nipples.

Why is it Important to Treat Lip & Tongue Ties?

woman smiling in dental mirror

Neglecting to address a lip or tongue tie in infancy can lead to ongoing issues in childhood and adulthood. This may manifest in:

  • Food texture aversions
  • Higher risk of cavities, teeth grinding, and dental issues
  • Elevated risk of snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and breathing problems
  • Speech delays or difficulties even with minimal alcohol intake
  • Forward head posture

These challenges can impact self-confidence and hinder one's ability to fully enjoy life.

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment patient looking at dental X-ray

To address a lip or tongue tie, the standard approach is a swift and effective procedure called a frenectomy. Our process begins with a comprehensive examination, assessing the mobility of the lips and tongue while closely examining the frenulums. If the examination confirms the presence of a lip and/or tongue tie, we proceed to schedule treatment. In certain instances, we can even conduct the procedure on the same day as the examination.

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment FAQs

A young mother playing with her happy infant

If you suspect that you or your child has a lip or tongue tie, Dr. Ji and our team are ready to carefully assess the situation and provide appropriate care. Before you book an appointment, however, it is understandable if you want to gather more information about the road ahead. To assist you, we have compiled the following list of FAQs about lip and tongue tie treatment. If your specific questions are not included, give us a call — we will be happy to speak with you!

How Should I Prepare My Baby for a Frenectomy?

Very little preparation is necessary prior to a frenectomy. Dr. Ji might advise you to do some simple exercises with your baby in the days leading up to the procedure. For example, you may place a clean finger on their tongue and allow them to suck on it. When you gently pull away, they will have to work harder to keep a hold on it. You can also run a finger along their gums. Their tongue should follow the motion. These exercises may help your child learn important oral functions.

We also urge you to keep stress to a minimum. Although an infant will not remember their tongue tie procedure, the entire process is easier when everyone involved is as relaxed as possible.

Does a Frenectomy Hurt?

We often administer local anesthetic for frenectomies, so your child should feel very little during the procedure. After the numbing agent wears off, it is normal for the patient to experience some soreness and discomfort for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication and other simple measures can help to manage the situation.

Is My Child Old Enough to Get Lip or Tongue Tie Treatment?

We understand that many parents are a bit apprehensive about consenting to surgery for their child, even if the procedure is as minor as a frenectomy. However, there is no real need to worry. Even very young children — including infants just a few days old — can undergo successful treatment.

Also, keep in mind that a lip or tongue tie will not go away on its own. For your child to enjoy healthy oral function, it is best to get them treated as soon as possible.

What Should I Do After My Child’s Lip or Tongue Tie Has Been Treated?

After a frenectomy, there is a small chance that the frenum will reconnect. Because of that, you will have to help your child do some stretches and exercises for a few days after their procedure. Our team will give you detailed instructions. Basically, you will need to use clean hands to gently lift your baby’s lip or tongue. You should also gently swipe a finger under the lip or tongue a few times a day.

Can Adults Have Lip or Tongue Ties?

Lip and tongue tie are most often diagnosed and treated early in life. However, some people grow into adulthood with an untreated lip or tongue tie. Fortunately, Dr. Ji can perform frenectomies for both children and adults.