A lip or tongue tie might seem like a relatively minor problem. However, this seemingly minor issue can lead to major problems if it is left unaddressed. If you believe your child may need lip or tongue tie treatment, bring them to our Lawrence dental office for a consultation. If we determine that treatment is necessary, we will perform a simple procedure known as a frenectomy. Hopefully, your little one will soon enjoy improved oral function and a happier, easier life.
There are small pieces of tissue in the mouth that connect the lips to the gums. There is a similar structure that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When one of these pieces of tissue (called frenums or frenulums) is too short or thick, it restricts movement of the oral structures, resulting in a lip or tongue tie.
In some cases, lip and tongue tie are genetic. In other instances, the root cause remains unknown.
If your child is experiencing any of the following issues, they may have a lip or tongue tie (or both):
The mother of an infant with a lip or tongue tie may also experience some struggles, such as pain while breastfeeding, clogged milk ducts, and low milk supply.
Without proper treatment, a lip or tongue tie can lead to numerous issues in both childhood and adulthood. For example, it might be difficult for a child to learn to speak clearly. They may also have a heightened risk of tooth decay and gum disease if they cannot move their tongue properly. Forward head posture, sleep and airway problems, and teeth grinding are other possible consequences of an untreated lip or tongue tie.
Of course, some cases of lip tie and tongue tie are mild; we can assess your child’s case to determine if treatment is truly necessary.
The standard treatment for a lip or tongue tie is a minimally invasive surgery known as a frenectomy. During the procedure, we use a soft tissue laser to cut the frenum in order to allow the oral structures to move freely. The process is quite comfortable, and in some cases, we do not even need to use local anesthesia.
You may notice the benefits of the frenectomy right away. For example, breastfeeding may become much easier.
Some children need myofunctional therapy (a form of physical therapy) to help them learn to use their tongue and lips properly after their frenectomy.
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