Have you heard of a person being “tongue-tied” or “lip-tied”? As your dental professional, we care about the health of your mouth as a whole, not just your teeth. When a tongue or lip-tie is present, some problems may arise that we can help with!
Why Do Lip And Tongue-Ties Occur?
A lip or tongue-tie occurs when a thin tissue in the mouth called a frenum is overgrown. There are two kinds of frena in the mouth, labial (lip) frena and thelingual (tongue) frenum. The labial frena can be found in the center of the lips, connecting the inside of your upper and lower lips to the gum tissue. You can see the tongue frenum by looking in the mirror and lifting your tongue up to touch the roof of your mouth.
The purpose of the frenum is to limit certain muscle movements to prevent tissue damage. When the frenum tissue is excessive, however, it has the potential to do more harm than good.
What Problems Can Arise As The Result Of A Tongue-Tie?
A tongue-tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. Tongue-ties may be moderate, resulting in only small inconveniences like not being able to lick an ice cream cone. In some cases, however, they cause severe impairments such as:
- Difficulty nursing as an infant and eating later in life
- Speech impediments
- Pain and discomfort
- Periodontal issues, such as receding gums
- Tongue thrust and bite misalignment
What Issues Can A Lip-Tie Cause?
A lip-tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The possible complications of a lip-tie are somewhat similar to those who are tongue-tied. An overgrown labial frenum can:
- Cause pain and discomfort
- Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
- Complicate nursing
- Lead to periodontal issues, such as receding gums
- Result in misaligned teeth and bite (usually gap teeth)
A Frenectomy Helps Alleviate Tongue and Lip-Ties
A frenectomy is a simple procedure that can be performed by dental professionals where excess tissue on the frenum is removed. Before performing a frenectomy, several factors are taken into account, including the possibility that the condition may correct itself over time.
We’re Here To Answer Your Questions
If you’re concerned about a possible lip-tie or tongue-tie in yourself or your child, schedule an appointment with us today. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions and together, we’ll determine the best way to move forward!