We treat more than the teeth and gums! Treating tongue-tie for healthy development, sustained wellbeing

Family members of all ages throughout our corner of south-central Kansas trust our blend of advanced, comprehensive, and gentle dentistry at Pratt Family Dental. Our dentists, Drs. Carson Hopkins and Steven Kunz have invested in the training and technologies to support many state-of-the-art and highly sought-after dental treatments. These treatments include frenectomy to correct a tongue-tie. In doing so, we can restore your child’s healthy function and prevent complications from this congenital condition.

The problem: Ankyloglossia

The above term is a mouthful. But it simply refers to the “tongue-tie.” The muscle, that is, your tongue and its interrelated parts, are instrumental in many functions. As such, anomalies associated with the tongue can interfere with essential functions and your child’s quality of life. The tongue, after all, supports functions not limited to:

  • Helping with “taste”
  • Getting optimal enjoyment from foods
  • Aiding in clear speech
  • Developing proper pronunciation
  • Encouraging healthy swallowing patterns
  • Promoting comfortable and normal chewing and digestion
  • Aiding in removing food from the teeth
  • Supporting good oral health (see above – saliva is a natural cleanser)

The movements and range of motion that enable these functions can be a big challenge (or even impossible) for our patients with tongue-ties. Ankyloglossiaarises when the fibrous tissue connecting the tongue to the jaw (lingual frenum) is overly tight, poorly positioned, or excessively short. A “lip-tie” can also arise when the fibrous band of tissue (or labial frenum)that bands the lips and gums together is overly high or tight. Any time “normal” movement is impeded, it can disrupt normal functions and even give rise to conditions that challenge a child’s health.

The solution: Frenectomy

Also known as frenuloplasty, frenotomy, and frenulotomy, the frenectomy and its other names all essentially refer to special techniques used to release the soft labial or lingual frenum tissues. There are many different techniques that doctors may use to release these bands. Traditionally, this well-tolerated surgical procedure involves using special instruments to remove or alter the troubled tissue. The treatment area is completely numbed for comfort. Any incisions made are also closed.

While frenectomy can be completed quickly and with minimal risk, it provides enormous advantages to your child by supporting normal development and the proper function necessary for good health. We’ll review everything to expect before, during, and after the process, including rinses and other products to aid healing. Special exercises may even be recommended to further encourage healing and the proper functioning of the related muscles.

Contact your friends at Pratt Family Dental for advanced treatments you can trust. Our Pratt, KS office can be reached at (620) 318-1182.