When Is a Frenectomy Needed in Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is a dentistry branch that focuses on the management of dental health in children. Pediatric dentists help treat a lot of conditions that affect children. A frenectomy, also referred to as a frenotomy, can refer to any procedure that involves cutting or modifying binding tissue on the body. Frenectomy procedures are often common, particularly during the infant stage of life. Most times, the term refers to an oral procedure that helps resolve a tongue-tie or a lip tie. Read on to find out when your dentist may recommend a frenectomy.
Pediatric dentistry and frenectomies
In the mouth, the frenum is known to refer to a soft tissue piece connected to the gums and lips. If the frenum is either too tight or too short, it can interfere with speech development and breastfeeding. It can also end up interfering with swallowing. Here are the benefits of frenectomy procedures.
The lingual frenum connects individuals’ tongues to their mouths. Its length varies from one person to another. Sometimes, individuals are born with a lingual frenum that is very short. This shortened frenum can restrict the tongue’s movement. This condition is referred to as a tongue-tie or ankyloglossia.
Tongue-tie occurs in almost 5% of infants. During the infant years, a tongue-tie can interfere with breastfeeding. As a kid grows older, it can affect speech development. A procedure called a lingual frenectomy can help give the tongue a greater range of motion.
The labial frenum connects a person’s top lip to the gum region just above the front teeth. If this frenum ends up being shorter than average, it can cause difficulty when it comes to speech development. This condition is basically a type of lip adhesion. A lip adhesion also poses issues with dental development and makes it difficult to thoroughly clean the front teeth and gums. This not only raises the risk of gum diseases but also other dental complications. A maxillary frenectomy can help give a person’s upper lip more mobility.
Frenectomy in infants
Lip tie and tongue-tie are often identified in infants. Babies with these conditions are in some cases not efficient when it comes to breastfeeding. This can result in either weight loss or slow weight gain. A mother who is breastfeeding may experience more pain during feeding if the baby has a tongue-tie or lip tie. A frenectomy is usually easy to perform on an infant. A dentist or health care provider can perform a frenectomy in an office setting and complications and risks are usually minimal.
Having a frenum reduced either in length or size is a relatively simple procedure. It can be done at any age not only to improve oral health but also to promote a lifetime of smiles. Over the years, oral frenectomies have become increasingly common. Many people in the medical community believe that they can help with speech development and breastfeeding.
Releasing a tongue-tie or lip tie carries a minimal risk of infection or complications. It often starts healing up right away. Talk to your dentist if you suspect that your child has a tongue-tie or lip tie. You should also inquire about how pediatric dentistry can help your kid.
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