Laser Frenectomies in Melissa, TX

For Effective Tongue & Lip Tie Release

Helping Your Little One (and You!) Have a Healthy Smile!

Dr. Kathleen Schuster - a dentist in Melissa, TX, who performs frenectomiesHas your little one been struggling to latch while breastfeeding or maybe you've noticed a gap between their front teeth? These could be signs of a tongue or lip tie! Frenectomies are a simple procedure that can make a big difference to not only your child's oral health but your nursing journey too. Dr. Kathleen Schuster is here to help!

But wait, you might be thinking, what's a frenulum, and what's a frenectomy? Don't worry, mama, we've got you covered! Let's break it down, together.

Understanding Tongue and Lip Ties

Frenulums are the small folds of tissue that connect your child's tongue and upper lip to the floor of their mouth and gum, respectively. They're kind of like tiny tethers, and in most cases, they're perfectly normal and don't cause any problems.

But sometimes, these frenulums can be a little too short or tight. That's when they're called tongue ties (when it affects the tongue) or lip ties (when it affects the upper lip). These ties can limit the movement of your child's tongue and lip, which can lead to some challenges.

Example of posterior and anterior tongue ties

 

Signs To Watch For

Dr. Schuster nursing her sonHow do you know if your little one might have a tongue or lip tie? Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Breastfeeding Battles: If your baby struggles to latch on, has trouble staying latched, or seems frustrated during feeding, it could be a sign of a tie. You might also notice clicking sounds while they nurse.
  • Weight Gain Worries: Are you concerned your baby isn't gaining weight well? Tongue and lip ties can make it difficult for them to transfer milk effectively, leading to slow weight gain.
  • Tanking Milk Supply: If you find your milk supply is decreasing, your baby may not be removing milk efficiently due to the anatomical difficulties created by the tongue/lip tie. A shallow latch will cause inefficient milk removal.
  • Speech and Sounds: As your child grows, a tie could affect their speech development. They might have trouble pronouncing certain sounds, especially those that require a lot of tongue movement.
  • Limited Movement: Can your little one stick their tongue out past their lower teeth easily? Does their upper lip seem restricted when they try to flare it? Limited movement in these areas can be a sign of a tie.

Not Just Babies!

It's important to remember that tongue and lip ties aren't just for little ones! Adults can also experience them, especially considering they were not commonly diagnosed decades ago.

  • Speech Struggles: Do you find yourself getting tired after talking for a while? Maybe you mumble or stutter a bit, or have a history of speech therapy as a child. A tongue tie can make it harder to form certain sounds.
  • Snoring Sounds: Is your partner constantly elbowing you because you sound like a lumberjack at night? A tongue tie can contribute to mouth breathing and snoring.
  • Ouch! My Jaw: Do you experience frequent headaches or jaw pain? A tight frenulum can strain the muscles in your jaw and face.
  • Mealtime Mishaps: Maybe you take forever to chew your food, or have trouble swallowing pills. A limited tongue range can make these simple tasks more challenging.
  • Smile Concerns: Are you self-conscious about a gap between your lower front teeth? Tongue ties can sometimes contribute to this.

Why Early Treatment Matters

You might be wondering: what happens if we leave them untreated? Well, while some ties might not cause any issues, here's why early intervention can be a good idea:

  • Feeding Frustration: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding can become a constant battle for babies with ties. They might struggle to get enough milk, leading to frustration for both baby and parents.
  • Speech Delays: As your child grows, a tongue tie can make it difficult to form certain sounds, potentially leading to speech delays. Early intervention from a speech therapist can be crucial, but addressing the underlying tie can make a big difference too.
  • Dental Woes: Tongue and lip ties can affect the way your tongue rests in your mouth. This can contribute to problems with your teeth, like gaps, crowding, or even gum disease later in life.
  • Open-Mouthed Matters: Does your child seem to keep their mouth open a lot? A tongue tie can make it harder to keep their mouth closed naturally, which can lead to dry mouth, speech problems, and even affect facial development.
  • Sleep Apnea Surprise: In some cases, severe tongue ties can contribute to sleep apnea, a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This can lead to fatigue, daytime sleepiness, ADHD, and even health problems down the road.

Laser Frenectomies at Magnolia Ridge Dentistry

There is a simple and effective solution to all these issues: laser frenectomies! Dr. Schuster uses state-of-the-art laser technology to perform the procedure.

But what exactly is a laser frenectomy? It's a minimally invasive procedure where Dr. Schuster uses a gentle laser to release the tight frenulum. Here's why laser frenectomies are awesome:

  • Quick and Comfortable: Laser frenectomies are super quick, often taking just a few minutes. Plus, the laser minimizes discomfort and bleeding compared to traditional methods.
  • Less Recovery Time: Because the laser seals the tissue as it cuts, there's minimal bleeding and a faster healing time. This means your little one (or you!) can get back to normal right away.
  • Precise Results: Lasers offer incredible precision, allowing Dr. Schuster to target the exact area of the frenulum with minimal impact on surrounding tissue.
  • Reduced Risk of Infection: Since the laser sterilizes as it cuts, there's a lower risk of infection compared to traditional methods.

If you're concerned about a possible tongue or lip tie in your child or yourself, don't hesitate to reach out to our dental office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will my child need anaesthesia?

A: In most cases, no anesthesia is needed for a laser frenectomy. The procedure is quick and discomfort is minimal. However, Dr. Schuster will discuss all options with you during your consultation to ensure your child's comfort.

Q: How do I care for the area after the procedure?

A: Dr. Schuster will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions following the frenectomy. Here's a general idea of what to expect:

  • Minimize Discomfort: You or your child might experience mild soreness or tenderness in the area. Dr. Schuster may recommend using a soothing oral rinse or pain relievers appropriate for you or your child's age.

  • Keep it Clean: Maintaining good oral hygiene is important to promote healing and prevent infection. Gently cleanse the area with a soft toothbrush and water as instructed.

  • Mind Your Munchies: For a short period after the procedure, Dr. Schuster might recommend avoiding certain foods or drinks that could irritate the healing tissue. She'll provide specific guidance based on your situation.

Q: How soon will feeding issues improve?

A: The improvement in feeding difficulties can vary depending on the severity of the tie and your baby's appetite. Some babies see a difference in latching and milk transfer right away, while others might take a little longer to adjust.

Here are some tips to help your baby after a frenectomy for breastfeeding:

  • Offer Frequent Feedings: Frequent nursing sessions can help stimulate milk production and allow your baby to practice their new latch.

  • Lactation Consultant Support: A lactation consultant can offer support and guidance as your baby adjusts to feeding after the frenectomy.

Q: Are there any risks?

A: Laser frenectomies are generally considered very safe procedures. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some potential risks, though uncommon. These can include:

  • Discomfort or Bleeding: Mild soreness or slight bleeding is possible after the procedure.
  • Infection: While the laser helps reduce infection risk, proper aftercare is crucial to prevent infection.
  • Scarring: Minor scarring is possible, but usually very faint and not noticeable.

It's important to remember that Dr. Schuster will discuss all potential risks and benefits of a frenectomy with you in detail during your consultation. She will answer any questions you have and ensure you feel comfortable with the procedure.

Nip Feeding & Oral Development Issues In The Bud!

If feeding issues have you frustrated or you suspect you may have an undiagnosed tongue or lip tie as an adult, Dr. Schuster invites you to make an appointment at Magnolia Ridge Dentistry. Improved oral health is a simple procedure away! Contact us today to get the ball rolling.

Dr. Schuster is a dentist who can correct tongue ties and lip ties in babies and adults

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OUR HOURS

Week 1

Monday / 11:00am-7:00pm

Tuesday / 8:00am-4:00pm

Wednesday / 8:00am-4:00pm

Thursday / 7:00am-2:00pm

Friday / Closed

Week 2

Monday // Closed

Tuesday // 11:00am-7:00pm

Wednesday // 8:00am-4:00pm

Thursday // 8:00am-4:00pm

Friday // 7:00am-2:00pm

Our office is open 4 days a week. We alternate Mondays and Fridays off. In order to provide extended hours every week we are open late the first day of our week and early the last day of our work week.

CONTACT US

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(469) 209-6388

 

1500 Scott Street Suite 100

Melissa, TX 75454

[email protected]