Tongue Tie/Frenectomy at Rockford Pediatric Dentistry

A frenum is an exceedingly small piece of tissue that connects your cheeks, your lips, and your tongue to your gums. Sometimes a patient will have a frenum that is too tight or too short, which will result in inhibited movement and can cause performing simple, common tasks such as eating or talking to become more difficult. A tight or short frenum can also lead to accelerated gum recession. Frenum related issues in a child can also inhibit development. The two most common and frequent types of frenum’s that pose an issue are the maxillary labial frenum and the lingual frenum. A frenectomy is a safe, quick, and effective method for correcting frenum-related issues by simply removing or clipping the frenum. Frenectomies are very low-risk, outpatient procedures that usually correct the problem directly after the procedure.


Meet Our Pediatric Dentists Drs. Elizabeth Duran & Pamela Lu

“Kids are the best part of humanity; they will always put a smile on your face. Working with children, there is NEVER a boring or unhappy day at work! I love what I do.”

“Kids are the best part of humanity; they will always put a smile on your face. Working with children, there is NEVER a boring or unhappy day at work! I love what I do.”

Frenectomy for Children

Although adults can certainly still have frenum-related issues, most frenectomies are performed on children. A child who has an over-sized frenum could develop the following issues:

  • A difficulty speaking, commonly referred to as being tongue-tied.
  • Interference with breastfeeding or nursing.
  • Gum recession, which results in an increased risk of developing periodontal or gum disease.
  • The frenulum frequently gets stuck between the front teeth.
  • A difficulty sticking out the tongue.
  • The prevention of the baby teeth erupting properly.

Frenectomy for Adults

An oversized frenum in an adult can also create a variety of issues to develop, one of the most common being difficulty with speaking. If you have an oversized frenum you will usually have developed ways to compensate for this issue, although you may find it difficult to be audible or articulate when speaking at either lower or higher volumes. Another common issue for an adult with an over-sized frenum is a difficulty both chewing and swallowing food properly. Because the food is unable to move properly, there is also an increased risk of developing periodontal or gum disease since the food particles remain lodged between the teeth for longer periods of time. Another issue for both children and adults with an over-sized frenum is gum recession. The frenum will pull the gumline away from the tooth root, resulting in increased sensitivity, an abnormal appearance of the gums, or infection. Even though it is possible to prevent these issues from developing by exercising good oral hygiene habits, like rinsing your mouth following each meal, scheduling an appointment for a simple frenectomy is an effective, long-lasting solution for correcting for the last time.

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As moms ourselves, we empathize with parents and treat every child as if they were our own. There is nothing more rewarding to us than watching your child grow into a happy and confident dental patient, ready to take on the world with their healthy smile!


The Frenectomy Procedure

Either a child or an adult will receive a local anesthetic prior to the frenectomy procedure to minimize any pain or discomfort. When sufficiently numbed, the tongue is held upward to the roof of the mouth to make the frenum taut. When properly positioned, the tissue is simply reduced in size using a scalpel, a specialty laser, or a combination of both. Newborns who have a frenectomy performed usually feel little to no discomfort during the procedure and will quite often sleep through the entire procedure.

Aftercare Following the Frenectomy

To minimize any post-procedural risks and to enjoy a quick recovery for you or your child, make sure to follow any post-operative instructions provided by our team at Rockford Pediatric Dentistry. It is also beneficial to schedule a follow up appointment to make sure that treatment has been successful, and the area has healed properly. The majority of all frenectomy procedures are successful, but there are times when a second frenectomy might be necessary.

Most children and adults will have a very minimal recovery period with few if any side effects, there are special aftercare instructions when the frenectomy is performed on babies. Any discomfort can often be relieved by breastfeeding your baby, but if discomfort persists, you may give them children’s Tylenol. If you have any questions about the proper dosage of Tylenol for your baby, contact our office.

In addition to managing discomfort, there are stretching exercises you can do with your baby to promote the healing process and reduce the risk of any scar formation or even re-attachment. These exercises should be performed for two weeks after the procedure but are most important during the first 48 hours. Prior to performing any upper lip and under the tongue stretches, make sure your hands are clean and your fingernails are trimmed.


Rockford Pediatric Dentistry

At Rockford Pediatric Dentistry, we are passionate about providing a safe, positive, and happy environment for your family. We want our patients to be able to safely enjoy the sports they love, while protecting their developing smiles. We treat all of our patients as if they were our own children. As parents ourselves, we understand how important it is to treat your family with compassion, the most up to date dental technologies, and the highest standard of care. We strive to earn your trust and provide consistent quality for your family. Call today to make Rockford Pediatric Dentistry your new dental home.

Location: 1055 Featherstone Rd Suite A, Rockford, IL 61107

Call: (779) 210-2556