What is a Frenectomy?
The frenectomy is a rapid in office procedure that is completed with a co2 laser. For children, recovery is quite rapid but must be accompanied by myofunctional exercises before and after the treatment in order for the tissue not to scar down to its presurgical position.
Infants and nursing babies need only to nurse and the normal suckling action of the tongue on the roof of the mouth will promote proper healing.
All patients who undergo a frenectomy are required to do stretching exercises following the procedure.
What is a Frenum?
The frenum is the piece of weblike tissue located under the base of the tongue (the lingual frenum) and at the midline of the upper lip (the labial frenum). Some individuals have additional freni at the base of the midline of the lower lip and in the posterior region of the mouth where the cheek meets the jaw. These attachments are usually not as significant as the lingual and upper labial freni. It is believed that with adverse environmental changes (environmental pollutants, nutrition, etc.) that these attachments are becoming heavier and thicker with successive generations.
These attachments can prevent a proper latch for the nursing baby and then in turn prevent the growing child from maintaining his tongue on the roof of his mouth for proper oral posture, balance and breathing.
Additionally, the freni can act as bridles and prevent the jaws from following their normal course of growth downward and forward. A frenectomy may be indicated during the course of myofunctional therapy, breathing therapy and alf treatment.
Signs Your Child May Need A Laser Frenectomy
There can be a number of factoring issues that can be occurring if you are experiencing difficulty breastfeeding, but a problematic frenum is certainly a potential cause. Some of the specific behaviors you may notice when you attempt breast feeding include the following:
Gumming rather than sucking nipple
Failure to latch onto breast consistently
Tendency to fall asleep quickly during feeding
Your Child Has Trouble Gaining Weight
Because of the problems with breastfeeding that a problematic frenum can cause, you may notice that your child is not gaining weight. If they are not gaining the appropriate amount of weight for their age, it can be an overall detriment to their health, and it is time to see a dentist.
A Gap Appears in Your Child’s Smile
Sometimes a child’s need for a frenectomy is not noticed until they are older. In such cases, the physical effects may become apparent. The most common manifestation of the problem is a pronounced gap in a child’s front teeth. Even if this occurs, Dr. Hillel has options to provide treatment and minimize the effects on your child’s smile.