There's a little piece of tissue that connects your upper lip to your upper gum, and another one that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. Both of those are called a frenulum. The former is the labial frenulum and the latter is the lingual frenulum. If a child has an issue with either of them, for example they’re too thick or too short, it’s called either a lip-tie or a tongue-tie. Either can lead to issues with breastfeeding, speech development, and more. Sometimes, a lip-tie or tongue-tie can simply resolve itself on its own. Other times, medical intervention is necessary to prevent problems. One of the most common procedures for this is a frenectomy.
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy in the case of tongue-ties or lip-ties is when the frenulum is removed in a surgical procedure. The whole procedure is pretty quick, taking on average 15 minutes or less. You don’t need to worry about pain since discomfort is minimized with a topical anesthetic. These days, frenectomies can also be performed using lasers!
Signs Your Child May Benefit from a Frenectomy
Just because your child has a tongue-tie or lip-tie, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll need a frenectomy. The procedure is generally only recommended if the tongue-tie or lip-tie is causing issues. One of the first signs that a frenectomy might be helpful is if your infant has problems latching to the breast while breastfeeding. Another sign exhibited by young children is in their speech development. For instance, if your child isn’t able to make certain sounds while speaking (like the "th" sound for example), then it’s possible they may need a frenectomy.
Caring Pediatric Dentistry in Cibolo, TX
The best way to know if your child needs a frenectomy is to consult their pediatrician or pediatric dentist. The frenectomy procedure is one of our treatments at Cibolo Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. We also offer a wide range of other services specifically designed for young, growing smiles. If you have any questions about any of our treatments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!