Do you suspect that your child may have a lip or tongue tie? Did some of your mom friends suggest that your baby has a tongue or lip tie and they may need a frenectomy?
While all this might sound scary, know that tongue ties are quite common and about 5% of babies have one. A tongue tie occurs when your baby's frenulum (the tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too tight. In the case of a lip tie, the skin of the upper lip is connected to the gums.
If that's the case, your pediatric dentist in Houston may recommend a frenectomy, which is a simple and noninvasive procedure.
But first, let's look at some telling signs that your child may need a frenectomy.
One of the major signs that your child may need a frenectomy is difficulty breastfeeding. If your child can't move their upper lip or tongue properly, that may make latching more difficult. Your baby may not be able to latch at all or latch too deeply, which will make it difficult for them to get enough milk and feed properly.
Signs of poor breastfeeding include weight loss, frequent feedings, sore nipples, blocked ducts, pain while breastfeeding, and so on.
A tongue tie will not only affect your child's ability to breastfeed but eat too. Because their tongue has a limited range of motion and can't sit in the proper position when resting, it can be difficult for them to swallow.
Another sign that your child might benefit from a frenectomy is if you notice that they've developed speech development. As we said, a tongue tie limits the tongue's range of motion, which makes it more difficult for your child to pronounce certain sounds.
Because your baby's connective tissue is too short, the tongue will sit too low in the mouth and it will not make contact with the roof of the mouth. This can lead to a lower palate, which will make nasal breathing more difficult. If you notice that your baby is breathing through their mouth even though they don't have a stuffy nose, then that may be a sign of a tongue tie.
A lip tie may affect the position of your child's upper teeth and cause a gap between their two front teeth.
Frenectomies are completely safe and quite a simple procedure. The dentist will numb the area, so you can rest assured that your child won't feel a thing. At Memorial Children’s Dentistry, we use a CO2 laser to release the frenulum and the entire procedure only takes a few seconds. This way, we make sure that the discomfort your baby will feel after is minimal and that the recovery period is faster.
If you suspect that your child needs a frenectomy, get in touch with us now to book your appointment.