Pediatric Frenectomy

Tongue-Tie Surgery

A pediatric frenectomy is a laser surgical procedure to release or loosen the frenum in a child. The frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment, typically seen between the front teeth (either upper or lower) or connecting the underside of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The lingual frenum is between the teeth and the inside of the lip, while the labial frenum is underneath the tongue. If either frenum is too tight, short, or thick, a frenectomy may be needed to correct the problem.

Lip-Tied Children’s Frenectomy

A child is sometimes referred to as “lip tied” if the frenum between the lip and teeth interferes with their speech, eating, or nursing. In some cases, the frenum between teeth and gums may cause a significant gap between the teeth. Surgery on the frenum improves the chances that orthodontic straightening of the teeth will be successful.

Tongue-Tied Kids’ Frenectomy

If the frenum connecting the underside of the tongue to the base of the mouth is too short, too tight, or too thick, the child may be referred to by a doctor as tongue-tied. Tongue-tie is discovered in some infants when they have difficulty nursing. There are many problems associated with being tongue-tied, including:

  • Difficulty nursing, including not latching properly
  • Inability to gain weight over time
  • Difficulty moving the tongue
  • V-shaped or heart-shaped tongue tip
  • They can’t stick out their tongue

As an infant grows into a toddler, there may be other indications that a frenectomy is needed:

  • Problems swallowing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Receding gums
  • Speech impediments
  • Difficulty using tongue
  • Can’t lick properly
  • They can’t stick out their tongue
  • Can’t play woodwind instruments

Children’s Frenectomies

Dr. Swanson performs pediatric frenectomy surgery on children of all ages. The non-invasive laser surgery is a simple procedure that takes less than fifteen minutes with minimal bleeding and quick recovery. The frenum is clipped or released to give a full range of movement to the tongue or release the lip’s inside from the gumline.

The kids’ frenectomy procedure is performed under local anesthesia, so your child will not be stressed or in any pain. Following the frenectomy, there is little to no bleeding and, in most cases, no need for stitches or sutures. While your child may have some mild discomfort for a few days after a frenectomy, they should be able to nurse or eat immediately following the laser surgery.

If you suspect your child is tongue-tied or lip-tied, contact our office online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. You can also call the Puyallup office at Puyallup Phone Number (253) 445-0022 or the Tacoma office at Tacoma Phone Number (253) 383-1471.

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