Tethered Oral Tissues services in Calgary

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We are please to announce that we have expanded our General Dental and Sleep Apnea services to include the management of tethered oral tissues (TOTs).


Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) is a term used to describe tight, restrictive connective tissue which joins oral structures. This connective tissue is called frenum/frena. We all have these tissue attachments, but when they are too thick, tight, or restrictive of normal movement, they are considered to be “tied.” Lip ties, tongue ties and cheek ties are then considered a tethered oral tissue. Identification of TOTs is important because they can cause problems for babies when trying breast or bottle feed, and as children grow, these TOTs can cause issues with facial and jaw development as well as breathing, sleeping and speech and language development.


Signs and Symptoms of TOTs

How can you tell if your child may have TOTs? Here are some signs and symptoms:

In babies (0-12 months):

  • difficulty latching to nipple (breast or bottle)
  • difficulty gaining weight/slow weight gain
  • losing milk/formula out of corners of mouth when eating
  • audible “clicking” sound while eating/sucking
  • difficulty holding a pacifier in mouth
  • congestion
  • reflux
  • open mouth posture
  • high, narrow hard palate
  • difficulty transitioning to solid foods

In toddlers and older children (12 months +):

  • history of symptoms reviewed above
  • drooling
  • messy eating
  • picking eating/issues with food textures
  • snoring/sleep issues
  • delayed talking
  • speech that is difficult to understand
  • persistent speech sound errors

If you suspect TOTs, what are the next steps?

TOTs are treated based on the functional deficits that are being demonstrated and not always how the tissues appear in the oral cavity. From feeding to speech and language development, Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) can impact many areas of your child’s development. If your child is demonstrating any deficits reviewed in this post, please reach out to us.

At Symmetry Dental our experienced team can help assess your child and help to refer them to the necessary specialists for appropriate intervention!

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Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) Services in Calgary: A Comprehensive Approach to Oral Health In recent years, the field of dentistry has seen a significant expansion of services, catering to a broader spectrum of oral health issues. Among these progressive developments is the management of tethered oral tissues (TOTs), a field that has gained increasing recognition and importance within the dental community. Calgary, known for its commitment to cutting-edge healthcare services, has now embraced the management of TOTs, and Symmetry Dental is at the forefront of this vital dental innovation. With a deep commitment to providing comprehensive dental care, including TOTs management, Symmetry Dental is leading the way in ensuring the oral health and overall well-being of its patients. Understanding Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) Tethered oral tissues refer to conditions where the soft oral tissues in the mouth, including the tongue and the upper lip, are abnormally connected to the floor of the mouth or the upper jaw. These conditions are often present from birth and can significantly impact various aspects of an individual’s life, from infancy to adulthood. TOTs can lead to difficulties in breastfeeding, speech, eating, and overall oral development. The most common TOTs are ankyloglossia (commonly known as tongue tie) and maxillary lip tie. The impact of these conditions can be far-reaching and often requires professional intervention. The Role of Symmetry Dental in TOTs Management Symmetry Dental, a trusted name in Calgary’s dental healthcare, has recognized the importance of TOTs management in promoting oral health and overall well-being. Their expansion of services to include TOTs management signifies a commitment to offering a holistic approach to oral care. The team at Symmetry Dental is not only equipped with the latest technology and dental expertise but also possesses the empathy and understanding needed to address TOTs concerns effectively. Comprehensive Assessment and Diagnosis The journey to managing TOTs starts with a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. Symmetry Dental employs state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to identify TOTs and their impact on an individual’s oral health. These assessments are particularly crucial for infants who may be experiencing breastfeeding difficulties, as TOTs can be a common underlying cause. For older children and adults, TOTs can manifest in speech difficulties, dental issues, and even sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Symmetry Dental’s team of skilled professionals conducts a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the TOTs issue and its potential consequences. Treatment Options Once diagnosed, Symmetry Dental offers a range of treatment options tailored to the patient’s specific needs. The treatment plan may include: Frenectomy: Frenectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the release of the tight or abnormal tissue, allowing for increased mobility of the tongue or upper lip. This procedure can be performed with precision at Symmetry Dental, ensuring minimal discomfort and a swift recovery. Myofunctional Therapy: In addition to surgical intervention, Symmetry Dental provides myofunctional therapy, a rehabilitation technique aimed at improving tongue and lip function. This therapy is often recommended as part of the treatment plan to maximize the benefits of the frenectomy. Post-Operative Care: Symmetry Dental’s commitment to patient care extends beyond the surgical procedure. They offer comprehensive post-operative care and guidance, ensuring a smooth recovery process. Collaboration with Other Healthcare Professionals: TOTs management often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Symmetry Dental collaborates with other healthcare professionals, such as lactation consultants, speech therapists, and otolaryngologists, to provide a well-rounded treatment plan. Patient-Centered Approach What sets Symmetry Dental apart is their patient-centered approach. They understand that the management of TOTs can be a sensitive and emotional journey for patients and their families. Their team offers unwavering support, clear communication, and a compassionate approach to ensure that patients feel heard and cared for throughout their TOTs management experience. Advantages of TOTs Management The management of tethered oral tissues at Symmetry Dental comes with a multitude of advantages, both immediate and long-term. Improved Breastfeeding: For infants, TOTs management can significantly improve breastfeeding. Many mothers struggle with breastfeeding challenges when their babies have tongue ties or lip ties. With proper management, these issues can often be resolved, allowing for a more comfortable and successful breastfeeding experience. Enhanced Speech: Children and adults with TOTs can experience speech difficulties. TOTs management can lead to significant improvements in speech articulation and clarity, allowing individuals to communicate more effectively. Oral Health: TOTs management can also contribute to better oral health. Individuals with TOTs are at a higher risk of dental issues, such as misaligned teeth and gum problems. By addressing TOTs early, Symmetry Dental helps prevent these dental concerns. Sleep Quality: TOTs management can have a positive impact on sleep quality. In cases where TOTs contribute to sleep disorders like sleep apnea, addressing the issue can lead to improved sleep patterns and overall well-being. Psychological Well-Being: The emotional impact of TOTs should not be underestimated. Many individuals with TOTs experience self-esteem issues and social anxiety due to speech and appearance concerns. TOTs management can boost confidence and psychological well-being. Holistic Dental Care Symmetry Dental’s foray into TOTs management exemplifies their commitment to holistic dental care. Beyond addressing immediate oral health issues, they prioritize the long-term well-being of their patients. By integrating TOTs management into their range of services, Symmetry Dental fosters a sense of trust and reliability among their patients. The Importance of Early Intervention Early intervention is often crucial in managing TOTs. For infants, addressing TOTs at an early stage can prevent breastfeeding challenges and support proper oral development. In older children and adults, early intervention can reduce the potential for speech issues, dental complications, and other related concerns. Symmetry Dental encourages parents to be vigilant and seek professional advice if they suspect their child may have TOTs. They provide resources and support for early diagnosis and treatment planning to ensure that TOTs do not hinder a child’s development. The Future of TOTs Management The inclusion of TOTs management within the services offered by Symmetry Dental marks an exciting step forward in the evolution of dentistry. As awareness of the impact of TOTs on oral and overall health continues to grow, it is expected that more dental practices will follow suit and offer these essential services. This expansion of care options ensures that individuals with TOTs can access the treatment and support they need. Conclusion Symmetry Dental’s expansion of services to include TOTs management in Calgary signifies a groundbreaking step in the field of oral healthcare. The comprehensive approach they employ, from diagnosis to post-operative care, ensures that patients of all ages receive the best possible treatment for their tethered oral tissues. The advantages of TOTs management are vast and extend far beyond the immediate oral health concerns. Symmetry Dental’s patient-centered approach and commitment to early intervention exemplify their dedication to providing the highest quality dental care. With their integration of TOTs management, Symmetry Dental not only enhances the oral health of their patients but also contributes to the overall well-being and quality of life for individuals in Calgary and beyond. I understand you need a longer piece. Let’s continue to explore the topic of Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) services in Calgary in more detail. The Growing Recognition of Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) Over the last decade, there has been a growing recognition of the significance of TOTs in the field of dentistry and healthcare. Previously, many individuals with TOTs may have gone undiagnosed or had their symptoms misattributed to other causes. However, advancements in dental and medical knowledge have shed light on the profound impact that TOTs can have on a person’s quality of life. As a result, dental practices such as Symmetry Dental have taken up the mantle of providing TOTs management services to ensure that patients in Calgary and the surrounding areas have access to comprehensive care that addresses these previously under-recognized issues. Calgary’s Commitment to Cutting-Edge Healthcare Calgary has earned a reputation for being at the forefront of healthcare innovation, and Symmetry Dental’s expansion into TOTs management is a testament to this commitment. The city has long been a hub for medical advancements, attracting top talent and pioneering research. This tradition of excellence extends to dental care, making Calgary a prime location for those seeking state-of-the-art solutions for oral health. The Link Between TOTs and Sleep Apnea While TOTs can manifest in various ways, one particularly noteworthy connection is the link between TOTs and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. TOTs, particularly tongue tie (ankyloglossia), can contribute to sleep apnea by restricting the tongue’s movement, potentially causing airway obstruction. For individuals struggling with sleep apnea, TOTs management may offer a path to better sleep and improved overall health. Symmetry Dental’s comprehensive approach means that they not only address the immediate symptoms of TOTs but also consider the potential long-term consequences, such as sleep apnea.
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