May 17, 2017
You have three frenums, or bits of soft tissue, in your mouth: one between your upper lip and gums, one between your lower lip and gums, and another beneath your tongue. Sometimes, there is too much tissue or the frenum is too tight and it restricts proper eating, affects speech, and causes issues with proper dentition, or the alignment of the teeth. Children are especially vulnerable to the condition we call lip/tongue tie — but Dr. Jose A. Bushdid, the family dentist in Coral Gables, can help.
How Frenum Affects Oral Health
When they form properly, frenums keep organs in the body from moving too much. They exist throughout the body — but in the mouth, frenums often go a little too far. Imagine how uncomfortable it would be to have a small bit of tissue pulled every time you extended your tongue to eat or speak. That’s what it feels like to have a tight frenum — but restrictive frenums are not only uncomfortable. They can seriously affect the development of a child’s oral health.
Babies who have too much frenum tissue are likely to experience a number of issues, including:
- Difficulty nursing (painful for both child and mother)
- Low milk supply
- Possible undernourishment caused by to issues nursing
- Sleep deprivation
If the excess tissue is not removed during infancy, the child is likely to experience a number of additional issues throughout the toddler years into childhood. Some of the problems associated with tongue/lip tie in older children include the following:
- Delayed speech
- Lisp or difficulty pronouncing words
- Gap between front teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Improper dental alignment
- Poor nutrition due to painful eating
If you suspect your child is exhibiting the issues related to a restrictive frenum, do not delay in contacting a doctor. Lip/tongue tie is frequently misdiagnosed. As a firm believer in early intervention to prevent more serious issues later on, Dr. Bushdid will examine your child’s smile and put together a treatment plan for prompt relief.
Correcting Lip and Tongue Tie
Treatment for lip/tongue tie is often simple, especially when performed at an early age. A quick procedure may be performed with or without anesthesia before a newborn baby even leaves the hospital.
The procedures for lip and tongue tie include…
- Frenotomy: The most common treatment for a restrictive frenum is the frenotomy, in which your doctor simply snips the excessive tissue. This procedure causes little discomfort, as there are few nerves in the frenum. Bleeding is minimal and recovery is quick — babies can begin breastfeeding immediately after a frenotomy.
- Frenuloplasty: For thicker frenums, a frenotomy may not be enough to treat lip or tongue tie. A frenuloplasty is a surgical treatment performed with general anesthesia. Sutures close the wound and the recovery is longer, but complications are rare.
Early Orthodontic Intervention Helps
If the restrictive frenum is not attended to during infancy, it can take a toll on your child’s bite — and misaligned teeth affect the way their jaw functions for a lifetime. We prevent these and other issues by paying attention to your child’s dentition during childhood. Early orthodontic intervention can rescue the problems caused by a restrictive frenum, opening the airway and making it easier for your child to eat and speak without pain or other issues.
Seek Help for Your Child Today
If you suspect your child is experiencing issues due to a restrictive frenum, do not delay treatment. Prevent issues with dentition and other serious problems by seeking a professional’s opinion! Schedule an appointment with the children’s dentist in Coral Gables, Dr. Bushdid, today.
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