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How Do You Know If Your Child Needs a Frenectomy?

December 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — rozas @ 3:30 am
baby smiling

Do you think your child may be living with a lip- or tongue-tie? If so, they might need a dental procedure to allow for improved oral function. Even though most children are treated during infancy, many problems do not develop until they’re older. Since the symptoms can be hard to spot, overgrown oral muscular tissue often goes undiagnosed. Unfortunately, that can cause several issues as your little one grows up. With that in mind, here are signs that indicate your child needs a frenectomy.

What Is a Frenectomy?

A frenulum is a small piece of tissue that’s located at either the top or bottom of the mouth, specifically under the tongue or the upper gums. If the connective tissue is too tight, it can lead to a range of problems. A frenectomy is a simple procedure in which the frenulum is severed and removed to allow for more freedom of movement. It might sound daunting, but the procedure is low-risk and has a high rate of success.

Indications Your Child Needs a Frenectomy

Are you unsure whether your child needs a frenectomy? Here are signs to watch out for:

Difficulty Eating

A lingual frenulum (the tight cord underneath the tongue to keep it properly secured) that’s too tight can make swallowing difficult. For babies, this can cause problems with breastfeeding or make them unable to effectively take a bottle. While some hospitals will perform a frenectomy before the newborn is discharged, others will tell parents to wait and see if the child grows out of it.

Trouble Speaking

The tongue plays a crucial role in speaking. If your child is “tongue-tied,” they may have trouble speaking normally. As a result, they may develop a lisp or other speech impediment. Fortunately, these alternations can often be corrected with a frenectomy.

Open-Mouth Breathing

If the upper labial frenulum is too tight, it can keep the mouth from closing properly, causing open-mouth breathing. This issue must be addressed right away as it can lead to gum recession and even contribute to sleep apnea.

Gap Between Upper Front Teeth

An overly tight upper labial frenulum can also lead to a gap in the upper two front teeth. Even though it’s usually just an aesthetic problem, a frenectomy is still recommended in most cases.

Receding Gums

The bands of tissue located beneath the tongue and behind the upper lip are connected to the gum tissue. Because of that, the inability to freely move the lip or tongue can cause your little one’s gums to recede, increasing their risk of gum disease when they’re older.

Is your child displaying any of these symptoms? Contact a pediatric dentist and ask if a frenectomy is right for them. With their help, your little one’s smile will be back on track in no time!

About the Author

Dr. Melissa Rozas earned her dental doctorate from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Rozas is a member of the American Dental Association and was president of the Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for two years. If your child may need a frenectomy, she is certified to use a LightScalpel Carbon Dioxide Surgical Laser and is a member of the International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals. Schedule an appointment for your little one on her website or call (972) 393-9779.

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