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What Being Lip-Tied or Tongue-Tied Means For Children

For parents, having a child experiencing difficulties eating, speaking, and moving their mouth can be a problematic experience. If your child is experiencing these problems, then they could be either tongue-tied or lip-tied. These conditions, however, can easily be treated by a pediatric oral surgeon. Our Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry team in Noblesville is here to help you understand these conditions and how they can be treated! 

What Being Tongue-Tied or Lip-Tied Means For Children

Children with tongue-tied or lip-tied conditions mean that their tongues or lips cannot move freely. This is due to a more prominent frenulum, or band of tissue along the bottom of the tongue, that’s grown and attached further along the tongue or lip line. These larger frenula restrict movements in the mouth, making it impossible for your child’s mouth to move more freely, pronounce words, and consume food. 

When left untreated, it can cause complications with their growth. However, many pediatric dentists and oral surgeons have solutions on hand to help your child’s condition. These solutions include: 

  • Frenectomies: A frenectomy is a simple surgery performed on infants and toddlers. As one of the best solutions for tongue and lip ties, a frenectomy removes the frenula to allow better mouth movement. This treatment is usually performed under various types of sedation, depending on the location of the frenulum removed. This procedure can be performed on the upper labial frenula or the lower lingual frenula. 
  • Frenuloplasties: While frenectomies remove the frenula completely, frenuloplasty works to alter the frenula instead. The goal of this procedure is to loosen it enough to increase the mobility of the tongue or mouth. It can also be used to reposition the frenula and move the attachment point. Like frenectomies, they are performed with various forms of sedation depending on the patient. 
  • Oral Myofunctional Therapy: Oral Myofunctional Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that helps your child breathe, swallow, and talk. Many children who have or previously had frenulums tend to have difficulties eating and speaking as their facial muscles adapted to the larger frenula. This therapy can help structure and correct their mouth movements over time and help them with better mouth posture and coordination. 

If your child has lip-tie or tongue-tie, then your pediatric team has ways to help. Some symptoms to look out for when caring for your child include infant fatigue when eating, painful breastfeeding, difficulties with eating, and poor weight gain, especially for newborns. Treating tongue ties and lip ties is a straightforward, risk-free procedure, as it only takes a few minutes to perform and is safe for your child. 

Visit Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Noblesville, For Quality Pediatric Dental Care! 

If you notice your child slurring their words or having difficulties opening their mouth, speak with our pediatric dentists at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Noblesville, to learn about your treatment options by calling 317) 773-KIDS(5437). At our office in Noblesville, IN, our team can provide you with the best pediatric dental care and can become part of your child’s oral health journey.