HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of a person being “tongue tied” or “lip tied”? As dental professionals, we care about the health of your child’s mouth as a whole, not just their teeth. When a tongue or lip tie is present, some problems may arise that we can help with!
Why Do Lip Ties and Tongue Ties Occur?
A lip or tongue tie occurs when a thin tissue in the mouth called a frenum is overgrown. There are two kinds of frena in the mouth, labial (lip) frenum and the lingual (tongue) frenum. The labial frenum can be found in the center of the lips, connecting the inside of your upper and lower lips to the gum tissue. You can see the tongue frenum by looking in the mirror and lifting your tongue up to touch the roof of your mouth.
The purpose of the frenum is to limit certain muscle movements to prevent tissue damage. When the frenum tissue is excessive, however, it has the potential to do more harm than good.
What Problems Can Arise As the Result of a Tongue Tie?
A tongue tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. Tongue ties may be moderate, resulting in only small inconveniences like not being able to lick an ice cream cone. In some cases, however, they cause severe impairments such as:
- – Difficulty nursing as an infant and eating later in life
- – Speech difficulties
- – Pain and discomfort
- – Periodontal issues, such as receding gums
- – Tongue thrust and bite misalignment
What Issues Can a Lip Tie Cause?
A lip tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The possible complications of a lip tie are somewhat similar to those of a tongue tie. An overgrown labial frenum can:
- – Cause pain and discomfort
- – Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
- – Make it difficult for a baby to nurse
- – Lead to periodontal issues, such as receding gums
- – Result in misaligned teeth (often a gap between the top two front teeth) and bite problems
A Frenectomy Helps Alleviate Tongue and Lip Ties
A frenectomy, or removal of excess tissue on the frenum, is a simple procedure that can be performed by dental professionals. Before performing a frenectomy, several factors are taken into account, including the possibility that the condition may correct itself over time.
At Young Dentistry for Children, we use laser dentistry to perform frenectomies on patients of all ages, especially for infants with a lip or tongue tie. When completed with a laser, this procedure typically results in a very quick and easy recovery.
We’re Here to Answer Your Questions
If you’re concerned about a possible lip tie or tongue tie in your child, schedule an appointment with us today. We’re happy to answer your questions and together we’ll determine the best way to move forward! You can learn more about us by checking our business page, and follow this link for directions to our offices.