How they impact your baby and when to have them corrected
Often when a baby’s ability to feed and thrive is compromised it is a result of a Lip and/or Tongue Tie requiring a revision. A Lip Tie is caused by a piece of tissue behind the upper lip, called the frenulum, being too thick or too stiff which prevents the upper lip from moving freely. When the upper lip is unable to move easily a baby’s ability to feed is significantly reduced. A Tongue Tie results when an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue, called the lingual frenulum, tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. This condition effects the tongue’s range of motion and also compromises feeding as it makes it difficult for a baby to suck properly and for a more difficult time eating from a spoon or even eating finger foods.
In addition to the immediate concerns of a baby’s ability to gain proper weight, Lip and Tongue Ties can impact health and development in other ways. Speech development can also be affected by the tongue’s limited mobility and significant challenges with other oral actions can occur such as licking one’s lips, eating an ice cream cone, kissing or playing a wind instrument. Another significant complication of a Lip or Tongue Tie is that it often results in poor oral hygiene and can contribute to tooth decay and gingivitis.
Tongue and Lip Ties often occur in tandem, are more common in boys than girls, and tend to run in families. Parent’s concerned that their baby might have a Lip or Tongue Tie need not to worry as they are easily corrected and can be done right in the comfort of our office at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph. A frenectomy is the procedure used to correct a Lip or Tongue Tie. During this quick procedure one of our Pediatric Dentists uses a laser to neatly sever the membrane connecting the lip to the gums and/or the tongue to the lower palate. Aside from being a swift correction, it is virtually painless with no recovery and babies can feed immediately afterward with greatly improved results.
If you think your child has a Lip or Tongue Tie and you would like more information on this procedure, or if you have any questions on the procedure used to correct Lip and Tongue Ties, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of Pediatric Dentists at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph 973-989-7970.