Tongue & Lip Ties
As part of our pediatric practice in Lehi, Utah, we often see children and adolescents with tongue and lip ties. These can cause a range of issues with feeding and speech as well as interfere with the positioning of the teeth.
In some cases, a frenectomy, or procedure to correct this condition, is advised.
What Are Tongue & Lip Ties?
In your mouth, there is a piece of soft tissue that attaches your tongue to the lower mouth. This piece of skin is known as the lingual frenulum. If this skin is too short or too thick, it can affect the movement of the tongue. This is a condition known as tongue-tie.
Similarly, in the upper part of the mouth, the labial frenulum connects your upper lip to the gums between or on top of the front teeth.
Effects of Tongue & Lip Ties
Tongue and lip ties are often diagnosed early if a baby is having trouble feeding. A frenulum that is too wide can prevent the baby from latching properly or forming a seal around a bottle or breast.
Not all tongue and lip ties are diagnosed in infancy. As they get older, your child might begin to experience problems with their speech. As the tongue cannot move normally, a child may be unable to make certain sounds necessary to develop their speech.
A lip tie that affects the position of the front teeth may also affect corrective braces, so would need to be corrected before they were fitted.
Some children experience trouble eating, finding it difficult to gain weight as expected.
What Is A Frenectomy?
Your dentist, pediatrician, or speech therapist may recommend a procedure called a frenectomy. This is a simple procedure to remove the connective tissue that is causing the tongue or lip tie.
Most frenectomies are performed using a specialist laser and take only a few minutes. A laser frenectomy can minimize the amount of bleeding and swelling caused. Recovery times are shorter and the risk of postoperative complications is small.
The type of anesthesia required will depend on the age of the child and an assessment of their lip or tongue tie.
Following the procedure, your child will need to stretch the area. Your dentist will be able to provide you with all of the information prior to the procedure.
Benefits Of A Frenectomy
Correcting your child’s tongue or lip tie can allow normal development of speech and feeding. If your child’s speech was affected for a long period, then a speech therapist may be needed to help them learn certain speech skills.
If a tie has caused a separation between the front teeth, then removing it means that corrective braces can be fitted to close the gap.
Dry Creek Pediatric Dentistry is a leading dental practice in Lehi, Utah. As part of your child’s ongoing oral care, our dentists can work with you to diagnose and treat the causes of tongue-tie and lip ties.
Contact us today to arrange an appointment.