SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
On the underside of your tongue resides a thin strip of tissue that tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. However, in some individuals, this tissue, referred to as a frenum, is too thick or short. In these cases, the frenum restricts the tongue’s movement, which is known as a tongue tie. Tongue ties are present at birth, so you’re either born with one or you’re not. It’s not something you can develop later in life. Unfortunately, though, there are life-long effects of ignoring tongue-ties, which is why early treatment is recommended. If you’re an adult living with a tongue-tie, you may wonder whether it’s worth fixing the problem by now. So today on the blog, we answer this question and also explain how your dentist in Scotts Valley can help with treatment.
How are tongue ties treated?
Tongue ties can be treated by a simple and nearly painless laser treatment known as a frenectomy. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we use the LightScalpel dental laser that works with the ultimate precision, which results in quicker recovery, less bleeding, and minimal discomfort afterward. It’s safe for patients of all ages, and there is little to no risk of postoperative infection with laser surgery. Following surgery, the patient may undergo myofunctional therapy, which trains the tongue how to move and rest properly. Our Scotts Valley myofunctional therapists can devise a course of therapy that is just right for your unique needs and is suitable for children and adults.
What’s the best age to treat a tongue tie?
There is no age limit, whether young or old, to undergo a frenectomy. Most tongue ties are identified during infancy. One of the major warning signs is if the mother struggles breastfeeding. A tongue tie also can be the cause if a child is slow to begin talking or develops a speech impediment. Tongue-tie treatment can be administered safely and effectively even days after birth, or on adult patients of any age.
How can I tell if I have a tongue-tie?
Tongue-ties in adults may lead to various symptoms including:
- Mouth breathing
- Speech impairments
- Sleep apnea
- Elongated facial appearance
- Open bite (only the back teeth touch when the mouth is closed)
- Jaw pain
- Tight or painful muscles in the neck or shoulders
- Teeth clenching and/or grinding while sleeping
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
It’s essential to identify and diagnose tongue ties as soon as possible because if left untreated, its effects only become more significant as you reach adulthood. If you’re an adult with a tongue-tie, consider a consultation with our neuromuscular dentists in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. A painless dental evaluation is enough to help us determine whether you have a tongue tie. Then, we can discuss your treatment plan.
Tongue-tie treatment in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz, California
When providing treatment for a tongue tie, our laser frenectomy has far greater advantages compared to traditional surgery that uses a scalpel and sutures and is viable for patients of all ages. If you would like to learn about tongue ties or schedule a consultation, please call (831) 438-4411.