HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of a person being “tongue-tied” or “lip-tied”? As dental professionals, 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 the lingual (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 A Result Of A Tongue Or Lip Tie?
A tongue-tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. A lip-tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The complications of both conditions are similar. Tongue- and lip-ties can:
- Cause pain and discomfort
- Result in speech impediments
- Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
- Complicate nursing and eating later in life
- Lead to periodontal issues such as receding gums
- Result in misaligned teeth and bite
Tongue And Lip Ties Can Have Orthodontic Repercussions
Severe lip-ties have the potential to cause what is called diastema—a space or gap between two teeth. Excessive frenal tissue can prevent our front two teeth from erupting in proper alignment, as well as push the teeth apart after orthodontic treatment.
Tongue ties can also cause a gap between the bottom front teeth. Other consequences may include developing dental crowding (malocclusion) or an abnormal bite.
What Is A Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a simple procedure that can be performed by dental and medical professionals where the 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.
Share Your Concerns With Us
If you or your child are receiving orthodontic treatment and are concerned about a possible lip-tie or tongue-tie, let us know. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions and together, we’ll figure out the best way to move forward!
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.