Everyone has frena (singular – frenum) – that fold of skin on the underside of the tongue, or that joins the lip to the adjacent gum. Traditionally the term “tongue tie” was known and taught to be a frenum that came all the way to the tip of the tongue. However it has become increasingly apparent both clinically and in research, it is not just appearance that determines diagnosis of a tie. We are now interested in movement, function and the workings of the frenum in relation to the whole body. In the case of the tongue and lip, where a frenum becomes restrictive to the normal functions of the mouth and face, it is considered a lip or tongue-tie, and frenectomy or removal of these ties may be indicated.
The term restriction or tether are more commonly used by those who are experienced with providing accurate diagnoses and treatments because these terms are a more accurate way of describing the clinical issues with function in mind – not appearance alone.
Frenectomy is the removal of a frenum, a small fold of tissue that can be found under the tongue (tongue tie) and/or under the lip (lip tie) and/or the cheeks (buccal tie).
Laser: At Dental Harmony we choose to perform frenectomies with a laser, in particular WaterLase. This is because WaterLase combines water, air and laser energy for a safe, precise and quick frenectomy procedure. Due to its conservative cutting action and continuous water irrigation, WaterLase reduces bleeding, post-operative pain and swelling. And together with analgesic effects, it can also minimise discomfort in patients during and after their procedures.
For more information on WaterLase, please click on Laser (linked to the tab) or visit http://www.waterlase.com/why-waterlase.html.