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I’ve been told that I am tongue tied. What is that?

February 21, 2017

Filed under: Dental Health,Diode Laser — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 7:00 am

I’ve been told that I am Tongue Tied.  What is that?

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can't stick her tongue out at her brother!

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can’t stick her tongue out at her brother!

See blog photos under tongue

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

What does it mean to be tongue tied?  And is this a condition that requires treatment?

When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth.  The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.

Possible concerns of being tongue tied:

  • Difficulty nursing as an infant
  • Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
  • Difficulty licking something off your lips
  • It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
  • Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!

 

Being tongue tied is usually not a problem.  Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement.  If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely.  It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment.  You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being 'tongue-tied' was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being ‘tongue-tied’ was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue.  In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s.  If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility.  The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift.  There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.

 

Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

– Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction –

February 28, 2014

Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction

Improving Your Cleaning in our office

 IMG_of laser2

Our office is constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our office.  Because of this, we now offer an added procedure – laser bacterial reduction –  to your routine cleaning care to help fight periodontal disease and gingivitis.

 

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society.  Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years.  We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth.  Now, in addition to the removal of tartar and stain as we would during your normal cleaning, we are also addressing the underlying infection that causes periodontal disease by using a diode laser!  We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated with a laser prior to cleaning appointments for three reasons:

 

  1. To reduce or eliminate bacteremias.  During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed, this allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or an artificial joint.  The latest research shows that mouth bacteria are linked to a number of other diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, etc.  Needless to say anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive for our patients. The diode laser does this!

 

  1. To prevent cross contamination.  Disease causing bacteria present in one area of your mouth can be transferred to other areas.  The gentle, painless process of laser bacterial reduction can reduce the bacteria present under the gums by the millions – far better than any rinse – without the need for antibiotics.

 

  1. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.

 

The diode laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5-10 minutes.  We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning.use of laser3

 

Laser decontamination is $20 and is NOT covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, insurance coverage is almost always behind the leading edge in ideal health care.  Please ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding this treatment.

Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado and we will continuously be on the look out for treatment that will benefit our patients.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc!

Tongue Tied? Treatment Is Now Easy!

August 7, 2012

Filed under: Diode Laser,Patient Satisfaction — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:43 pm

Reyna Can Now Happily Stick Her Tongue Out At Her Brother!

Being tongue-tied is a real term and the implications vary with the strength of the lingual frenum or the fibrous attachment that adheres the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the adaptations of the patient to this somewhat common abnormality.

Strong fibrous attachemnt near the tip of the tongueAfter treatment with a diode laser

In a normal mouth, the tongue can move freely to lick both lips when the mouth is open and during the pronunciation of several words most notably those beginning with the letters ‘th’. Try this test to see if you are tongue-tied:  open your mouth wide and try to put the tip of your tongue on your palate or on the top of your mouth.  If you have to close your mouth a lot to do this, you may be tongue-tied! Sometimes, it is difficult for babies with this condition to nurse well and their diet is affected.  Sometimes speech is affected negatively.

Reyna and her family didn’t really think there was a problem until the strong fibrous tissue attachment of her tongue to the floor of her mouth was pointed out to her family by our office.  She was tongue-tied!  Reyna could not stick her tongue out at her brother and more importantly, the strong lingual frenum, or tissue attachment from the tip of her tongue to the floor of her mouth, prevented her tongue from extending to the top of her palate when her mouth was open, she could not lick her lower lip if something was stuck there, and her speech was affected. These are common symptoms of being tongue-tied. A lingual frenectomy can correct problems!

How can a person who is tongue-tied be treated?

Dr. Gillis used a diode laser to carefully remove a portion of the lingual frenum.  A lingual frenectomy is a relatively simple procedure with a laser.  Immediately after the procedure, Reyna could stick her tongue out of her mouth!  Because a diode laser was used, the surgery did not cause any bleeding and the treatment was as comfortable as possible.  Reyna’s healing was uneventful and she is pleased to now have a normal tongue that can move like all of her friend’s tongues.

Reyna can now stick her tongue out normally!

If you would like more information about this procedure to treat the condition of being tongue-tied or any other dental question, our office would be happy to help! Dr. Gillis does a number of procedures with our diode lasers and we are very happy with the results that we can now achieve.  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Please visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc) or call us if you have any questions or concerns.  You can also email our office at jmgdds@qwestoffice.net for further information.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles – Restoring Health

Upgrade Your Routine Dental Cleaning With Laser Treatment!

January 20, 2012

Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction

Improving Your Cleaning in our office

We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our office.  Because of this, we have recently added a new procedure to your routine cleaning care to help fight periodontal disease and gingivitis

 

Using the laser to destroy subgingival bacteria

 

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society.  Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years.  We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth.  Now, in addition to the removal of tartar and stain as we would during your normal cleaning, we are also addressing the underlying infection that causes periodontal disease!  We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated with a laser prior to cleaning appointments for three reasons:

  1.  To reduce or eliminate bacteremias.  During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed, this allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or an artificial joint.  The latest research shows that mouth bacteria are linked to a number of other diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, etc.  Needless to say anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive for our patients.
  2.  To prevent cross contamination.  Disease causing bacteria present in one area of your mouth can be transferred to other areas.  The gentle, painless process of laser bacterial reduction can reduce the bacteria present under the gums by the millions – far better than any rinse – without the need for antibiotics. 
  3. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.

The laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5-10 minutes.  We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning!

Laser decontamination is NOT covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, insurance coverage is almost always behind the leading edge in ideal health care.  Please ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding this treatment.

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis DDS

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

January 3, 2012

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

As described to patients by my treatment assistant, Regina

Moderate to Advanced Periodontal Disease

 

Everyone has spaces between the gums and the teeth where bacteria and food accumulate.  Bacteria under the gums in patients with periodontal disease and gum disease or gingivitis cause inflammation which leads to deepening of the pockets in the gum tissue around the teeth.  Normal healthy pockets range from 1-3mm in depth.  You can keep these pockets clean by routine brushing and flossing.  When the pockets get deeper than 3mm, it is impossible to clean them – even if you are great at brushing and flossing!

As a result, the harmful bacteria living at the bottom of the unreachable pocket cause gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontal disease or loss of the supporting bone around the teeth.  Without treatment the teeth will lose enough support to become loose and will eventually be lost.

After removing tarter (calcified deposits), stain and debris by scaling, polishing, and sometimes ultrasonic cleaning devices, a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth.  The laser kills the bacteria that cause gum disease and periodontal disease. This promotes healing of your gums around your teeth.The laser can also increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of your periodontal pockets.  This specialized treatment is usually performed multiple times over a period of a few weeks.

Laser in use around healthy tissue

 

The dentist and hygienist will evaluate the results of treatment and determine what type of maintenance schedule is best for you so that you can keep the remaining teeth for a lifetime.

Heavy Tartar, Gingival Recession & Periodontal Disease

 

After removing the tarter, a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth.  The laser kills the bacteria that cause gum disease. This promotes healing of your gums around your teeth.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about periodontal diseasegum disease, orgingivitis.  We would be glad to help!

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com