Terms You Need to Know about Tongue-Tie
July 8, 2020
Tongue-tie is a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. A short, thick, or tight band of tissue is present at birth, tethering the infant’s tongue to the floor of the mouth. A lip-tie is a similar condition that results from a band of skin connecting the lip to the gingival tissue. Either issue can lead to several complications with your child’s development, but it can be corrected using a simple procedure called a frenectomy. During the process to free the tissue, you’re going to hear several words you might not know. There’s no need to worry. Here are a few of the most common terms related to lip and tongue-tie to help you understand the road ahead.
Tongue-tie refers to a condition that occurs when the soft tissue connecting the lips, tongue, or cheeks to the hard tissues of the mouth causes a restriction of ordinary movements. The band of tissue (frenum) can be too thick, hard, or short, which can impact a child’s ability to chew, suck, smile, and even speak. A tongue-tie typically relates to the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
A lip-tie is caused by the same issue; however, instead of affecting the tongue, the lip is attached to the gingival tissue. Although it typically affects the upper lip, it can occur with the lower as well. If the problem isn’t corrected, a child can develop issues with eating and speech.
A buccal-tie is less common than a lip or tongue-tie. The term is used when connective tissue on the sides of the mouth that connect the cheeks to the skull bones or jaw is too short, hard, or tight. It can interfere with breastfeeding because a child might not be able to latch correctly.
A frenectomy refers to the procedure used to fix the band of tissue, no matter where it occurs. Also called frenotomy or frenulectomy, the treatment releases the soft tissue from the harder tissues. While scissors or scalpels were commonly used in the past, a laser is the preferred method because it’s more precise and less invasive. In fact, it’s virtually pain-free.
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions about unfamiliar words used during your child’s consultation, don’t hesitate to ask their dentist in Southlake for clarification. They are happy to take the time to explain the process to ensure you’re feeling confident in the decision you’re making for your child’s smile and future.
About Dr. Preetha Thomas
Dr. Preetha Thomas earned her dental degree at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She furthered her training in many areas of specialty, like maxillofacial oral surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, and restorative dentistry. Dr. Thomas can perform several advanced treatments, like frenectomies. If your child has a lip or tongue-tie, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.
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