Does My Child Need a Frenectomy?

Tongue-tied is more than just an expression for lacking words to say. In medical terms, tongue tie is a medical term for ankyloglossia. This describes a condition common in babies where the tongue’s anatomy limits its range of motion. Some babies also suffer from lip tie, a condition characterized by insufficient space between the inner lip and the gums. 

A frenectomy can treat both, but does your child need one? Keep reading to find out whether your child needs a frenectomy.

What Is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is an oral surgery for treating or mitigating tongue tie or lip tie. The surgery involves snipping ro modifying the frenum, a cluster of connective tissues joining two areas. A frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth and the gum to the inner lip.

A frenectomy extends the frenum, increasing the range of motion for the tongue and the lips, thereby solving tongue tie and lip tie, respectively. 

How to Tell Whether My Child Needs a Frenectomy

Only a licensed dentist can recommend a frenotomy for your cold. However, here are a few telltale signs that your child might need one.

They Have Difficulty Eating

A short frenum can preclude proper eating because the tongue cannot push food down the throat to swallow, leading to choking, gagging, and sometimes vomiting. It also makes breastfeeding difficult because the baby can’t properly latch onto the breast to suckle, causing sore and cracked nipples.

This eating difficulty can significantly compromise your baby’s nutrition and make breastfeeding a nightmare for moms. A frenectomy can help improve how your baby swallows and breastfeeds.

They Can’t Articulate Certain Sounds

A short tongue precludes the articulation of certain sounds. Babies with tongue tie have problems pronouncing sounds that require touching the roof of the mouth. These sounds include “t,” “r,” and “d,” among others. 

Take your child for a frenectomy if they can’t pronounce those sounds. Oral surgery addresses this speech impediment by allowing the tongue to touch the mouth of the roof.

Excessive Mouth Breathing

It’s normal for children to breathe through their mouth, but too much mouth-breathing is a cause for concern. Keep a close eye on your child when sleeping, and check how often they breathe through their mouth.

Excessive mouth breathing indicates that the lingual frenum is too short and prevents the mouth from closing properly. As such, the child breathes through the mouth and is likely to develop dry mouth. A frenectomy solves this problem once and for all.

Schedule Your Child’s Frenectomy Today

Tongue and lip tie are incredibly detrimental to your child’s development. Arrange a dental checkup if you suspect your child might need a frenectomy. The dentist will ascertain whether a frenectomy is necessary and proceed with the surgery.

Does your child need a frenectomy? If so, contactAlamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry today, and we’ll get started on their appointment.

Back to the blog