Posted on: 21 July 2016Share
If you have a condition called tongue tie, then you have an elongated fraenum. The fraenum is the small flap of skin that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Tongue tie can cause cavity issues, since the tongue cannot move freely to release food particles that sit close to the teeth. The problem can also cause speech difficulties. Thankfully, a fairly simple procedure called a lingual frenectomy can be completed to cut back the fraenum so the tongue can move freely. The fraenum area will need to heal fully if you want your tongue to move correctly, so follow the healing tips below.
Do Not Disrupt The Dressing
Surgical wounds in the mouth are exposed to a great deal of bacteria, and this includes the surgical area after a frenectomy. To reduce infection concerns, your dentist will place a periodontal dressing over the surgical site. A periodontal wound dressing is a gel or paste that is placed over the surgical area. Gels will often harden on their own within a short period of time, while pastes are activated and hardened with a dental UV light. The hardened dressing is meant to remain in place over the dissolvable sutures until the stitches disappear. This means that the dressing may need to stay in place for up to two weeks.
Not only does the dressing help to keep the surgical area clean, but it supports the area and also protects if from food and irritation from your toothbrush. This means that you should do your best to take care of the periodontal dressing. Dressings can be knocked out of place if you hit the hardened material, so make sure to brush gently around your tongue. Also, swish with mouthwashes gently and also keep your fingers away from the dressing.
If your dressing does become dislodged for some reason, make arrangements to see your dentist as soon as possible. A replacement dressing can be secured.
Avoid Strong Tongue Movements
Wounds in the mouth heal relatively quickly, and the surgical area will often be protected by a dressing. However, this does not mean that the delicate fraenum cannot tear during the healing period. This will cause the area to bleed and feel painful, and the wound may open beyond the periodontal dressing. This can leave a small and open wound area exposed to microorganisms in the mouth.
The tongue is incredibly strong and made up of a group of muscles that are constantly working. The tongue even moves when you sleep to help force saliva down your esophagus. This means that you cannot stop your tongue from moving completely. However, you can keep your tongue from moving quickly or aggressively in a way that can cause surgical wound problems.
The best way to reduce tongue movements is to make sure that you eat low-resistance foods. These foods are ones that require little chewing. Since the tongue is responsible for moving food from the middle of the mouth to the teeth so food can be ground down, low-resistance foods mean fewer tongue movements. Soft foods require less chewing than hard ones, so eat eggs, cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, peaches, kiwi, fish, and other soft items.
Make sure to stay away from tough meats like beef and pork. Also, carbohydrates should be avoided until you heal from your surgery. Some carbohydrates are hard to chew. Complex carbohydrates are also broken down significantly in the mouth before they are swallowed. This means more movement of the food so that saliva can properly mix with them and start the digestion process.
If you have a tongue tie or frenectomy surgery scheduled, then you should understand that you will need to pay close attention to your behaviors after the operation so you can heal properly. Make sure to ask your dental professional for full aftercare instructions well before your surgery so you know exactly what needs to be done.