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Frenectomy in Boulder, CO

Are feeding issues, speech problems, or other oral concerns throwing you off track? Maybe you’ve heard the terms “lip tie” or “tongue tie” and are wondering what the fuss is about. Dive in with us as we get into the details of lip & tongue ties, and how our very own Dr. Marisa Patt can help make things right.
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What is Lip & Tongue Tie?

In simple terms, a lip or tongue tie happens when the pieces of skin (called frenulum) that attach the upper lip to the gum or the tongue to the floor of the mouth are shorter, tighter, or thicker than usual. This can restrict movement, leading to a bunch of potential issues. Some patients might find they have one or both ties.

Symptoms of Lip & Tongue Tie

For both the young ones and the grown-ups, symptoms can vary:

  • Trouble breastfeeding for infants: When their tongues can’t stick out enough, they might struggle to properly latch.
  • Difficulty speaking clearly: Certain sounds may be difficult to form when the tongue doesn’t have a full range of motion.
  • Issues with oral hygiene: Due to restricted tongue movement, it won’t be able to slide around the teeth and gums to clear debris.
  • Challenges with certain activities: Some hobbies like playing wind instruments or fun meals like licking an ice cream cone can become a struggle.

Orthodontic issues over time: With the tongue being held so tightly to the floor of the mouth, it can prevent the lower jaw from developing properly, keeping it from growing outward and crowding the teeth. The sooner a tongue tie is fixed, the sooner you can get your bite realigned and have a healthier, stronger smile.

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Lip & Tongue Tie in Infants vs Adults

  • Infants: Newborns with a lip or tongue tie might struggle with breastfeeding, leading to weight loss or slow growth. Moms might experience pain while nursing or mastitis.
  • Children: Children with tongue ties often do not develop their upper jaw correctly.  Because the tongue is not occupying the space it should in the mouth, children tend to develop high vaulted palates and become mouth breathers.  Recognizing and correcting this at a young age can have tremendous lifelong benefits for your child.
  • Adults: The challenges mentioned above compound as we grow. When your tongue is not able to live in the correct spot in your mouth, it often falls back obstructing the airway. Having a tongue tie as an adult can contribute to sleep apnea, advanced dental problems, speech difficulties, head and neck tension, and even social challenges. Often we couple tongue ties with therapists who can help you build muscular strength and coordination to have the best outcome when you get a tongue release.

Treatment Options: Frenectomy

Luckily, this isn’t a “grin and bear it” situation. Dr. Marisa Patt and her skilled team at BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics can fix lip and tongue ties using a frenectomy procedure. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure to remove or loosen the frenulum, granting the lip or tongue its much-desired freedom. With modern techniques, it’s quicker and more comfortable than ever.

Lip & Tongue Tie FAQ

Immediate relief is common, especially for nursing infants. Other benefits, like improved speech, might take time and possibly some speech therapy.
Dr. Marisa Patt takes every measure to ensure minimal discomfort. For kids and adults alike, we’re all about making this a breeze.
Post-frenectomy, speech and eating abilities often improve, since the tongue can move more freely! Immediately after the procedure, the patient will want to have a soft meal. For the first bit, as the procedure site heals, it may be best to avoid spicy, salty, acidic, or very hot foods and liquids.

Call to Schedule an Appointment Today

So, think a lip & tongue tie might be tripping you or your little one up? Dr. Marisa Patt and the BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics team are here to help untangle things. Call (303) 530-1212 and let’s turn those ties into high-fives!

Let us help you reclaim your smile!
Let us help you reclaim your smile!

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