Tongue Revision and Lip Release Surgery in Chapel Hill
You may have heard the term “pediatric frenectomy” mentioned by your pediatrician or in various parenting forums around the internet, but in spite of its scary-sounding name, a frenectomy is a simple procedure that can be performed on your child or infant relatively easily and painlessly.
This procedure helps correct the mouth’s movement and usability by releasing or revising the flap of skin or “frenum” that connects the lip to the gums or the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Some infants are born “tongue-tied” with an overly constrictive frenum, making it nearly impossible for them to latch and breastfeed properly. Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Hardin have years of expertise in performing this procedure to help mothers and babies breastfeed better.
Why Should We Perform a Frenectomy?
Latching properly and being able to breastfeed is important – as a parent of an infant, you understand this well. Poor latching, however, can result in poor weight gain, colic, early weaning, and an inability to hold a pacifier. As a mother whose infant isn’t feeding properly, you can start to become susceptible to mastitis, thrush, engorgement, nipple compression, and post-partum depression, not to mention anxiety or stress.
Additionally, when particularly constrictive frenums are left untreated, your infant can become susceptible to other issues as they get older: speech problems, orthodontic problems, and even dental decay are possible if their tongue-tie is left unchecked.
How is the Lip Release or Tongue Revision Procedure Performed?
As a pediatric dentist, we understand how hard and upsetting a dentist visit can be for both you and your child, which is why we make sure that every procedure we do is quick, pleasant, and as pain-free as can be. Using laser technology, we can perform the procedure in 5 minutes with exacting precision. No sedation is necessary, and the use of the laser ensures that there is virtually no risk of infection.
What Happens after the Tongue Revision/Lip Release Has Been Performed?
For 10-14 days after your child’s procedure, you will need to perform stretching exercises on your child’s mouth to help ensure that the frenum does not grow back. This entails placing your fingers inside your child’s mouth and stretching out the surgical site to allow white granulated tissue to fill in the incision.
Not all babies are the same and neither are their eating habits. You could start to see immediate improvements right after the surgery or it could take up to a week. As your newborn adjusts to a less constrictive tongue, it can take a few days to get a good latch habit going as they begin to gain strength in their tongue.
Contact Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry Today to Schedule Your Child’s Frenectomy
If you and your child are suffering from latch issues, it might be time to call your Chapel Hill pediatric dentists at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry. Contact us for an appointment by calling 919-967-2773 or request an appointment.
For more information about latch issues, release procedure, and aftercare, please read through our brochure.