You may have heard the expressions, “tongue-tied,” or “lip-tied.” These both refer to an oral condition that results when a thin tissue in the mouth called the frenum is overgrown. To avert the problems that can result, your family dentist in Newtown, PA, can perform a simple procedure called a frenectomy. Read on to find out more about these procedures.
There are actually two locations of frena in the mouth. The first is under your tongue and is called the lingual frenum. The others, called the labia frena, are located at the center of your lips and connect the inside of your upper and lower lips to your gum tissue. You can see all of these frena when you look in the mirror and lift your lips or touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
These thin tissues are in place to limit certain muscle movements. However, when the frenum tissue is excessive, problems can develop. In babies particularly, an overgrown frenum can lead to difficulty nursing and swallowing. These infants may fail to thrive and gain weight as a result of being tongue-tied.
The condition is easily recognizable. In a baby that is tongue-tied, the frenum may extend almost to the tip of the tongue. This limits movement of the tongue. Especially among babies who are breastfed, the consequence can be difficulty latching on. As a result, a baby may become frustrated, tire of nursing and ultimately not receive enough nutrition.
Beyond infancy, a child who is tongue-tied may face:
- Continuing difficulty eating
- Speech impediments
- Tongue thrust
- A misaligned bite
- Pain and discomfort
- Periodontal problems, such as gum recession
Similar to tongue-tie, a lip-tie happens when the frenum connects too far down the gum.
Frenectomy in Newtown, PA
Your children’s dentist in Newtown, PA, can remedy the difficulties associated with both tongue-tie and lip-tie with a simple oral surgery called a frenectomy. Our dentists use laser technology to sever the connection, so that movement is more natural and comfortable. A minimal amount of anesthesia may be necessary. Afterwards, most babies and children are able to go about their normal activities. Among infants, nursing becomes more productive and health benefits accrue almost immediately.
Call Your Family Dentist in Newtown, PA
If your baby or toddler is having difficulty eating or speaking because they are tongue-tied or lip-tied, then contact the Dentists of Newtown. We would be happy to assess your child and determine whether or not a frenectomy is necessary.