Tongue ties and lip ties on infants, children, and teenagers can easily be treated by Dr. Millkey with her state of the art CO2 laser. The procedure, called a frenectomy, consists of releasing the frenum, a band of fibrous tissue, under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion.

Babies born with ankyloglossia, the term for this restrictive tethered oral tissue, can have difficulty nursing or bottle feeding, due to the inability to latch properly with the lips and tongue. They may experience failure to gain weight, fussiness, and regurgitation. Breast feeding can be very painful for mothers; a tell-tale sign is a callus on the infant’s upper lip. These babies frequently have difficulty sleeping through the night and are diagnosed with acid reflux due to swallowing excess air while trying to feed.

Untreated ties in children can impede the ability to speak clearly and can also lead to mouth breathing, snoring, grinding of teeth, and sleep apnea. This sleep disordered breathing can cause behavioral problems, bed wetting, and symptoms that can be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

In children, adolescents, and teenagers, a wide upper frenum can cause a large gap between the teeth, called a diastema. While orthodontics may be needed in conjunction to removing thick fibrous tissue, some spontaneous closure of the gap can be anticipated.

Dr. Millkey’s laser doesn’t “cut” or “snip” the frenum, rather it vaporizes the tissue and seals the edges so no stitches are needed and there is almost no bleeding or post-operative pain.

In addition to lip and tongue ties, Dr. Millkey can remove excess gum tissue that may overgrow during orthodontic treatment. She can also painlessly uncover teeth that are taking too long to grow in. She can even treat painful ulcers in the mouth or cold sores on the lips, instantly relieving pain and promoting faster healing.