Baby tooth extractions, also known as pediatric tooth extractions are when a primary tooth is surgically removed. When a child's tooth is injured due to an injury, disease, or serious tooth cavity, tooth extraction is usually necessary. This is one of the most popular treatments in pediatric dentistry. Since the front teeth have a single…
What Does an Infant Frenectomy Treat?
An infant frenectomy can make a huge difference if your child has speech or bite issues. The procedure is performed to get rid of connective tissues at either the bottom or the top of the mouth to addresses the issue. The procedure is safe for patients of all ages.
How an infant frenectomy helps
An infant frenectomy is a simple dental procedure that is performed to remove connective tissues – known as the frenum – from the upper part of the mouth or underneath the tongue. The most popular types of frenectomies are:
1. Lingual frenectomy
This type of frenectomy is performed to remove the tissue that connects the floor of a patient’s mouth to the bottom side of their tongue. The procedure is performed to correct a condition known as ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie. The condition leads to a person’s tongue being connected to the floor of their mouth by a thick, short frenum, limiting their ability to move their tongue.
Tongue-tie can make breastfeeding hard for infants, and it can affect speech and chewing as the child gets older. People with ankyloglossia often try to make up for the poor mobility of their tongue by moving their jaw, which can lead to orthodontic issues down the road.
2. Maxillary frenectomy
This procedure is performed to remove the tissue that connects the upper part of a person’s gums to their front teeth. Issues typically occur when this tissue is abnormally tight or large in infants. A newborn who cannot curl out their lips due to this tissue being too tight might have difficulty breastfeeding. In older children or adults, an abnormally tight frenum can lead to front teeth being pushed apart from each other, creating abnormal gaps between teeth.
When a dentist might recommend a frenectomy
An infant having tongue-tie or lip-tie can lead to difficulty with breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. Symptoms that a child might be struggling with breastfeeding include excessive gassiness, difficulty holding on to a nipple, and prolonged breastfeeding.
As the child gets older, it can affect their speech and ability to chew foods properly, limiting their development at this crucial stage. It can also lead to orthodontic issues down the road, like spaces forming between teeth. The worst is often jaw displacement which is caused by the child moving their jaw in an attempt to compensate for the limited mobility of their tongue. This can lead to jaw pain and serious orthodontic issues like an underbite. A frenectomy can help to prevent such issues from developing.
Frenectomies are typically performed using soft tissue lasers that vaporize tissues with a focused beam. The treatment causes little or no bleeding and minimizes discomfort. It can be safely performed on babies. There is not much of a recovery period after getting a frenectomy. Most people heal within a few days of the procedure.
Safeguard your child’s development
Give us a call or visit our Middletown clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist to learn more about how an infant frenectomy can protect your child’s development if they have issues with their frenum.
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