Parents often find me to ask one question- is my baby tongue tied? A tongue is considered tied when the attachment underneath it (called a "lingual frenum" or “lingual frenulum”) is too short or inelastic. The lingual frenulum helps to hold the tongue to the floor of the mouth as it moves around. In some babies this attachment does not separate completely in-utero causing the tongue to be tethered. In these cases it prevents the tongue from having full range of motion which can significantly impact dental development, as well as development of speech and feeding.
This procedure is typically done for older children (3+ years) who have a submucosal tongue restriction (or "posterior tongue tie"). Posterior tongue ties may lead to issues such as delayed speech, difficulty with chewing/swallowing, choking on food, mouth-breathing and sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. Tran highly recommends myofunctional therapy in conjunction with this procedure for successful outcome.
Pediatric sleep issues can range anywhere from disordered breathing in sleep (mouth-breathing, snoring, heavy breathing, choking/gasping) to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These issues occur when muscles in the back of the throat relax, causing the the airway to narrow as your child breathes inward. As with everything else, Dr. Tran takes a collaborative team approach to treating pediatric sleep issues.
“The mouth is considered the "house" of the tongue. If the house is too small, the tongue has less space to move and can potentially result in narrow dental arches, crowded and/or crooked teeth, and a restricted airway. What does this mean for your child? They will have a harder time breathing, eating, and sometimes even talking. Dr. Tran takes into consideration the craniofacial structural limitations and can treat your child's sleep issues by creating the necessary space for function while guiding their growth. Her orthodontic services include orthopedic expansion, Invisalign, ALF therapy, Myobrace, and Healthy Start.
Laser technology revolutionizing soft tissue management in dentistry. Once hard-to-do procedures can now be done with speed, ease and precision using a LightScalpel CO₂ laser. Some of the many benefits of CO₂ laser release include: high rate of soft tissue removal, minimized bleeding, less swelling and discomfort, reduced risk of infection, shortened procedure time, and smoother recovery.
Often after a frenectomy or tongue-tie release procedure, the infant will notice a deeper latch, while the tongue lifts with ease. You may notice immediate improvement in breastfeeding, as well as their body more relaxed and you'll hear quieter breathing. These findings are some of the most consistent findings in our infants and often result within the first few days after the procedure. Older children will notice a deeper quality of sleep and the parents will notice less snoring, less movement, less waking, and better mood in their child. Therapy is required (myofunctional, speech, bodywork, etc.) for a full resolution of symptoms, and many kids with narrow dental arches may need expansion and growth-guidance appliances prior to releasing the tongue.