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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

Gingival Papilloma or Lump on the Gums – Concern?

January 19, 2017

Filed under: Gum Surgery,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 11:32 pm

What is a gingival papilloma?  Should you be concerned if you think you have one?  What treatments are available?

Small lump seen on gums between the central incisor and the lateral incisor is a gingival papilloma.

Small lump seen on gums between the central incisor and the lateral incisor in the photo to the left is a gingival papilloma.

 

A gingival papilloma is simply a lump of tissue on the gums as seen in this photograph.  The gingival papilla is a common location for a gingival papilla. If you see any lumps on your gums that you are concerned about you should ask your dentist for advice!

Gingival papillomas often have the following characteristics:

  • The gingival overgrowth usually occurs over time
  • They are usually painless
  • They may slowly increase in size over time
  • They can recur or return if removed
  • Often the only reason to treat a gingival papilloma is cosmetic – they look funny in a smile
  • They are usually pink, firm, and often lighter in color than the surrounding gum tissue
Gingival papilloma treated with a diode laser similar to this one.

Gingival papilloma treated with a diode laser similar to this one.

If the decision has been made between you and your dentist to remove the gingival papilloma this is usually a simple soft tissue surgical procedure.  If completed with a diode laser there is usually no bleeding and very little discomfort.  Your dentist may be comfortable removing gingival papillomas in her office as Dr. Julie Gillis does, or she may refer you to an oral surgeon or dermatologist.

Note same area in gums after healing for two weeks. Lesion treated with a diode laser.

Note same area in gums after healing for two weeks.  Gingival papilloma removed with a diode laser.

Gingival papillomas can be removed with a scalpel or more comfortably with a laser.  In our office, we do not see these lesions recur or come back but statistically they may.  If this happens, a second surgery – possibly deeper – can be completed.

Our office only recommends removal of gingival papillomas if they are bothersome or unaesthetic to the patient.  Often, we just point them out to you so that you can follow the gingival papilloma and note anything unusual such as redness, pain, rapid growth, or bleeding.

Yours for better dental health,

 

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

Using Gum Surgery or Gingival Plastic Surgery to Enhance a Smile

October 21, 2015

Using Gum Surgery or Gingival Plastic Surgery to Enhance a Smile

Following conservative gingival plastic surgery.

Following conservative gingival plastic surgery.

Prior to conservative gingival plastic surgery.

Prior to conservative gingival plastic surgery.

It may sound complicated, but gum surgery or gingival plastic surgery can be an easy and comfortable procedure! In our Grand Junction office we use either a diode laser or electro-surgery to carefully remove tissue to complete the gum surgery.  This can be an easy addition to a treatment plan to achieve better aesthetics and a very important part of a smile makeover.

Note the improvement in the length and shape of the teeth! (more…)

How might a soft tissue, diode laser help you?

October 21, 2011

Diode Laser used during a cleaning

I’m excited to tell you about our new diode lasers. I feel this technology will improve the way we manage periodontal disease, perform soft tissue surgeries and biopsies, and even help patients during orthodontic care. After careful evaluation and many hours of training, we now have two diode lasers. I was so excited about the possible benefits to our patients; I knew that one would not be enough. A high tech model, the NV diode laser is shown directly below. Adjacent to this is the laser being used for bacterial reduction during a cleaning.

Diode lasers can be used for a variety of soft tissue procedures including gingival plastic surgery, tumor removal, uncovering teeth for orthodontics, reshaping the tissue around brackets or following orthodontic treatment, uncovering implants, and as an adjunct in our treatment of periodontal disease. Procedures are performed quickly, often without anesthesia, and there is very little post-operative sensitivity. We can even use our lasers treatment of lesions like cold sores and aphthous ulcers (canker sores). Unlike our electrosurgery tool, the diode laser is safe to use around metal.

Cordless Diode Laser

So far in our office we have used the Diode Lasers for frenectomies (I can’t imagine going back to the scalpel!) gingival curettage, gingivectomies, laser bacterial reduction, laser assisted periodontal therapy, implant access, and for the treatment of apthous ulcers, canker sores and cold sores. If used on a cold sore during its prodrome phase, the sore is often prevented from appearing, if used during the active phase, the sore will immediately start to heal! So we are trying to have patients call to schedule this low cost procedure as soon as they feel the beginnings of a cold sore.

Impact trauma to front teeth

Dental Implants replace missing front teeth

Severe trauma resulted in the removal of this patient’s front teeth. Dental implants were placed where the teeth used to be. Shown below is a frenectomy completed with the diode laser. A frenectomy is the removal or reshaping of the frenum – the fibrous band of tissue between the lips and the teeth or between the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

Strong frenum between implants

Day of surgery with only topical anesthetic

 

The tissue attachment or frenum between these two implants causes blanching of tissue as the lip moves. This prevents the normal formation of a gingival papilla between the implants which replace the two central incisors that were lost due to trauma. The diode laser quickly and painlessly reshapes the tissue.

No shots needed for this procedure – just topical anesthetic, and the healing was uneventful.

Fibroma on right cheek
Excellent healing following removal with a diode laser

Soft tissue growths like the fibroma on this patient’s cheek can be annoying as they are often pinched during biting. Removal of this type of lesion with the diode laser is fast and comportable for the patient. the healing period is brief and usually uneventful.

We take great pride in our ability to provide dental care as comfortably as possible. It is always nice to hear from you!Please contact us if you have any questions about treatment with the diode laser in our office or any other dental concerns.

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”

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