Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)
At New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center, we specialize in diagnosing and treating tethered oral tissues, including tongue-tie and lip-tie, in patients of all ages. If your son or daughter is having issues with tethered oral tissue or they are showing any of the highlighted symptoms, we encourage you to contact the offices of New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center. Based in Montvale and Hoboken, NJ, our pediatric dentist, Dr. Tommy Lee has the certifications and technologies to perform a safe and effective laser frenectomy procedure.
What is Tethered Oral Tissue?
Tethered oral tissue refers to a condition where the tongue, lip, or cheeks are restricted in their movement due to a thick or tight band of tissue. TOTs can cause a range of symptoms and can affect a person’s ability to eat, feed, speak, and swallow properly. Some varieties of TOTs include lip ties, tongue ties, and cheek ties, and each of these conditions can negatively impact a person’s facial development, breathing, sleeping, and language development.
Signs and Symptoms of TOTs:
The symptoms of tethered oral tissue can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, babies, children, and adults will experience a variety of symptoms based on the condition they face.
Babies (Newborn to Young Toddlers):
- Poor or shallow latch on the bottle or breast
- Slow or poor weight gain
- (sometimes diagnosed as failure-to-thrive)
- Reflux symptoms or frequent spitting up
- Excessive gas due to poor seal causes the swallowing of pockets of air
- Milk leaking from the corner of the mouth during feeding (soaking through multiple bibs for one feeding)
- Inability to hold a pacifier
- Clicking or smacking noises when nursing or feeding
- Prolonged feeding time (>30 minutes per feeding)
- Short sleeping and frequent feeding
- Frequent gagging or choking during feeding
Children (Preschoolers to Teenagers):
- Speech difficulties, including slurring words and mispronunciation
- Problems with simple mouth movements
- Breathing problems, such as childhood sleep apnea
- Difficulties swallowing, including certain foods
- Frequent Cavities, Gum Inflammation, and Bad Breath
Mothers Should be Aware of the Following:
- Painful nursing
- Bleeding or cracked nipples
- Poor breast drainage
- Nipple distortion (flattened or lipstick shaped)
- Plugged ducts or mastitis
- Inability to nurse without using a nipple shield
- Exhaustion from the prolonged breastfeeding time
Our Treatment Options For Tethered Oral Tissues
At New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center, we use the state of the art technology such as the CO2 laser for tethered oral tissue treatment. CO2 laser frenectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat tethered oral tissues patients of all ages. There are several benefits to this type of procedure, including:
As a minimally invasive procedure, frenectomy treatment takes usually only 15-20 seconds and child does not need to be put to sleep. It requires usually no stitches and results in less post-operative pain, bleeding, and swelling than traditional surgical methods.
CO2 lasers are highly precise, which allows for the targeted removal of only the restrictive tissue while minimizing damage.
Reduced Risk of Infection
These lasers cauterize the tissue as it releases, reducing the risk of bleeding and infection.
CO2 laser frenectomy produces faster healing times than traditional surgical methods, helping children experience less pain and swelling and allowing for a quicker recovery.
CO2 laser frenectomy can improve the outlook of your child’s health, as tongue-tie and lip-tie can affect a person’s ability to eat, feed, speak, and swallow properly, improving oral health and quality of life.
Infants with tongue-tie or lip-tie may have difficulty breastfeeding, but getting them a CO2 laser frenectomy improves breastfeeding by allowing them to have a better latch and milk transfer.
Overall, CO2 laser frenectomy is a safe and effective procedure with several benefits for patients of all ages.
If your child is experiencing symptoms of tongue-tie or lip-tie, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us to determine if CO2 laser frenectomy is right for you.
Contact Our Hoboken or Montvale, NJ Clinics For a For TOT Treatment!
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to schedule a consultation for tethered oral tissue treatment at New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will happily answer any questions and help you on your journey to better oral health.
At New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center, we specialize in providing effective, comfortable treatments for patients with tongue-tie and lip-tie conditions. Among our treatment options, patients can receive CO2 laser frenectomies at our office using state-of-the-art technology to provide the best treatment possible.
What are the symptoms of a tongue tie?
- Difficult intake of adequate milk
- Early weaning from the breast
- Extended nursing duration
- Slow weight gain
- Falling asleep during a feed
- Unable to develop or sustain a good latch
- Unable to hold a pacifier
Poor latching can cause problems for mothers too including difficult breastfeeding, mastitis, anxiety, slow post-delivery weight loss, painful conditions of nipples, and low milk supply or early cessation of lactation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the benefits of a frenectomy?
Laser frenectomies are extraordinarily precise and quick. There is no need for general anesthesia. Your baby will only have minimal discomfort or swelling and the laser treatment sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection. In addition to the benefits of the laser procedure, once the release of the tongue tie is complete, your baby will be more able to latch on to the breast and feed more efficiently. This will improve the baby’s health and wellbeing as well as the mother’s.
How can I tell if my baby has a tongue tie?
If your baby is struggling to latch and you suspect a physical impediment to success, look into the baby’s mouth and use your finger to feel for tightness in the tissue under his or her tongue or between the front upper gum and lip.
How is the procedure completed?
Dr. Tommy Lee will use a precise CO2 laser to release the tightened or tethered tissue. The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes and in most instances, the baby is able to latch immediately when he or she is returned to you. Your baby may experience some slight swelling for a day or so following the treatment. Also, we will provide advice on how to care for the baby’s mouth and if any exercises or post-surgical care is needed to ensure that the frenum does not reattach or tether again.
Our Treatment Steps For CO2 Laser Frenectomies
CO2 laser frenectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat tongue-tie and lip-tie patients of all ages. The procedure involves using a CO2 laser to remove the tight or thick band of tissue that is causing the restriction in movement. Here are the typical treatment steps for CO2 laser frenectomy:
The first step is to schedule a consultation with our trained dentists who specialize in CO2 laser frenectomy. During the consultation, we will evaluate the patient’s oral health and discuss the procedure in detail, including the risks and benefits.
Our dentists will use a CO2 laser to precisely remove the restrictive tissue, which typically takes just a few minutes. The laser cauterizes the area as it releases, which minimizes bleeding and reduces the risk of infection.
The patient may experience some mild discomfort or swelling after the procedure. The dentist will provide instructions for post-operative care, which may include stretching exercises, avoiding hard or crunchy foods, keeping the mouth clean, and taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed.
We will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the patient’s progress and ensure the healing process is proceeding as expected.
The Benefits of CO2 Laser Frenectomies
CO2 Lasers are considered one of the best techniques for frenectomies as they seal up the blood vessels and nerve endings, reducing the risk of bleeding and sterilizing the surgical site. These lasers seal up the lymphatic vessels, reducing the infection risk. Patients after a CO2 laser frenectomy experience little to no pain or swelling after the procedure, as this surgery doesn’t require general anesthesia.
These lasers offer several benefits, including minimal bleeding, reduced risk of infection, and faster healing times compared to traditional surgical methods. Additionally, CO2 lasers are highly precise, allowing us to perform the procedure with minimal patient discomfort.
Contact Our Hoboken or Montvale, NJ Clinics
For a Frenectomy!
If you would like to schedule a consultation for tongue-tie or lip-tie treatment at New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our team of experienced dental professionals will be delighted to answer any questions and help you find the best treatment for your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!