Lip and tongue-tie are fairly common in infants and children and can have surprising consequences for their oral and overall health. By bringing your child to Barefield Pediatric Dentistry for regular checkups (starting around age 1) you can rest easy knowing that this condition will be found early on. When necessary, we’ll recommend a simple, effective procedure called a frenectomy that enables your child to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. Learn more below about lip and tongue-tie in Duncanville and how easy treatment is. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule a visit for your child. With outstanding care from our team, your child can look forward to a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
Everyone has a frenulum, or strip of soft tissue, that attaches their tongue to the floor of their mouth. There’s also a frenulum that runs between the lips and the gums. Ideally, this tissue is long and “loose” enough to allow the lips and tongue to move freely. But, in some cases, the frenulum is too short or tight and prevents the lips and tongue from moving normally.
Also called ‘ankyloglossia’, tongue-tie affects an estimated 4%-11% of newborn babies, more often boys than girls. Signs and symptoms include a heart-shaped or notched tongue and trouble breast-feeding or gaining weight in infancy. Toddlers may have difficulty sticking their tongue past the bottom front teeth, moving it from side to side, or reaching their top teeth with it.
Unfortunately, lip and tongue-tie can lead to several serious problems for infants and children, including:
In addition, untreated lip and tongue-tie in adults can cause trouble sleeping, anxiety, digestive disorders, and jaw pain or TMJ disorder.
If we diagnose lip or tongue-tie in your child, we’ll start by evaluating whether treatment is necessary or not. In some cases, the frenulum loosens over time and tongue-tie resolves on its own (generally by age 2 or 3). In more severe cases, a simple and effective treatment called a frenectomy can be done to prevent all of the issues mentioned above.
This small surgical procedure is fast and easy. It’s done in just minutes and involves using sterile scissors to “snip” the frenulum, allowing the tongue or lips to move freely. And since there aren’t many nerve endings in the frenulum, it’s practically painless. In fact, in some cases it can be done without numbing the area. In others, we may recommend anesthesia or sedation to make the procedure as smooth as possible for your child.
Lip and tongue-tie can lead to serious problems. But with a frenectomy in Duncanville, we can help kids avoid these issues altogether. If you suspect your child has lip or tongue-tie, give us a call today. Our team of highly-trained pediatric dentists provides comfortable care in a kid-friendly environment to give children a healthy smile from the start.