If your child struggles with tongue tie or lip tie, they can experience difficulty eating or speaking. Our experts at Children's Dental Specialties can help! Tongue and lip ties are caused by abnormal frenums, tiny folds of tissue that connect the lip to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
For many children, the frenums are of adequate size to allow proper tongue and lip function. In some cases, though, the frenums are short or restricted and it can negatively impact the child's ability to nurse, chew, swallow, speak or breathe. We can treat tongue tie and lip tie in Worcester with a minimally invasive procedure that is safe and effective. Plus, with our specialized equipment, the process is relatively pain-free.
The lingual frenum is a sheet of mucus membrane located under the tongue. If you lift your tongue, you're able to see it. This frenum acts as an anchor and stabilizer for the tongue and is important for various functions, such as:
Your child also has two labial frenums, one on the lower lip and a more pronounced one on the upper lip. If you pull your lip away from your gum tissue, you'll be able to see the band of tissue connecting the lips to the gums. Typically, labial frenums — particularly the maxillary (upper) labial frenum — are more pronounced in younger children.
The function of the labial frenums is to stabilize the upper and lower lips. Some researchers dispute the importance of these bands of tissue, nursing can make keeping the front teeth clean more difficult.
Read more about how a tongue or lip-tie can interfere with the normal mobility and function in your child and how we diagnose and treat the issue
Lip tie and tongue tie occur when frenum attachments are abnormal.
Infants who have upper lip ties tend to have difficulty breastfeeding. In many cases, the issue can resolve itself. However, if the frenum is especially tight or the problem doesn't resolve itself, it's essential to your child's growth, development, and function that the issue is resolved with a frenectomy. A short lingual frenum inhibits tongue movement, making it difficult for children to speak, chew and swallow. Tongue tie can also lead to sleep disorders in some children. Schedule an appointment with your Worcester pediatric dentist if your suspect a problem.
It is vital to your child's oral and general health that they see a dentist within their first year. Their dentist can identify any issues that can make eating, sleeping or speaking difficult for your child and remedy them promptly.
Fortunately, it doesn't take a complex procedure to correct lip or tongue tie. Our experienced dentist at Children's Dental Specialties can perform a frenectomy, in which they use a laser, instead of scissors, to release the tissue. There is often less bleeding, post-operative inflammation and swelling as well as quicker healing and recovery.
Our dentist will perform a functional assessment to determine whether or not your child will require a surgical approach to address tongue and lip ties. Read about our non-surgical option below.
Our goal is to make your child as comfortable as possible and reduce dental anxiety. At Children's Dental Specialties, we know the best way to do this is to make every experience in the dental office as pleasant as possible. That's why we use minimally invasive procedures and modern technology. Such advancements make every dental procedure — including surgical procedures — more comfortable so your child experiences less discomfort during and after their appointment.