720 S River Rd Suite B-210, St. George, Utah 84790
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What is a frenectomy, and when is it needed?

Dr. Bryce Eagar is a dentist in the community of St. George, Utah, working with patients to help with oral health and wellness. In addition, he and his team at Gateway Oral Health Center may recommend children or adults undergo a treatment known as a frenectomy. Patients with tight frenums may find this procedure advantageous, offering relief from common symptoms and problems associated with tongue tie or lip tie. Continue reading to learn more!

What is a frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a surgery to remove a tissue called the frenulum. The frenulum is a small, web-like membrane that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This surgery is also sometimes called a tongue-tie release operation.

When is frenulum surgery recommended?

Tongue tie and lip tie surgeries are performed on children and adults when the frenulum causes problems with eating, speaking, or other activities. In some cases, the frenulum may be so short or tight that it limits the movement of the tongue. In infants and children, this can cause difficulty with breastfeeding, as well as problems with speech development. Frenectomies can also be done to treat pain in the frenulum area or issues with gum recession due to a tight frenum.

What can I expect from my frenulum surgery?

The procedure is typically very quick, taking only a few minutes to complete. Recovery is usually fast as well, and most people can return to their normal activities within a day or two. In some situations, there might be some minor discomfort or soreness in the surgical area for a short time after the procedure.

How do I learn more about frenectomies?

If you or your child are experiencing problems with the frenulum, talk to Dr. Bryce Eagar of Gateway Oral Health Center in St. George, UT, about whether a frenectomy may be the right solution. This surgery can relieve many of the issues caused by an abnormal frenulum and help alleviate many problems that can arise. Call (435) 656-0255 to request an appointment at 720 South River Road, Suite B-210, and learn more about lip tie and tongue tie surgery for those in the Washington County area.

The multi-faceted functional frenuloplasty approach to treating tongue-tie, supporting systemic health

At Gateway Oral Health Center, our approach to frenuloplasty addresses the functional challenges associated with a restricted frenulum, the web-like membrane connecting to the mouth’s floor. This condition is known as “functional ankyloglossia” or “tongue tie.” 

Since the tongue plays such an essential role in basic functions, when our talented biological dentist, Dr. Bryce Eagar, treats ankyloglossia, he also restores our patients’ overall health and well-being from St. George and across greater southwestern Utah.

The oral-systemwide connection

When tongue movement is limited, our ability to speak, swallow, sleep, and breathe can also suffer, which then blocks the airway and gives rise to Sleep-Disordered Breathing and still other conditions (such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea). 

Patients may develop compensatory behaviors – from open-mouth breathing to teeth-grinding and jaw clenching to compensate for structural and functional problems. Secondary conditions or complications follow; individuals with SDBs may also have symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction, such as pain in the jaw joints and chronic migraines. 

The functional frenuloplasty approach to treatment

The techniques we use to release or treat a tongue tie are highly precise; just the right amount of tissue is altered to support optimal relief, ensuring successful healing. The procedure itself may be performed quickly and uneventfully from the comfort of our office in St. George, Utah. It is tolerated so well that little more than local anesthetic is necessary for utmost comfort. 

The procedure is complemented by myofunctional therapy. These tailored exercises and movements also aid in healing and in resolving any discomfort or mild swelling after treatment. 

With that being said, as your healing is assessed, wound stretches may be indicated. They involve wrapping the tongue in gauze, pulling it as directed, and then holding or stretching it for 30-plus seconds (or until tension is released). Lastly, we appreciate the power of other forms of physical therapy and “bodywork,” which may be beneficial as you or your child heals following frenuloplasty surgery. Again, it is essential to follow post-operative instructions, stretches, exercises, and follow-up visits and care to the letter during your healing process and to support optimal results from treatment. 

Please call (435) 656-0255 with questions or to schedule an appointment at Gateway Oral Health Center, your guide to enhanced smiles and improved health in Washington County.