If your baby has been born with a short frenulum, you may notice that his or her tongue does not move about freely. It may seem stuck to the floor of the mouth.
The frenulum is the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the lower palate. Some children are born with a frenulum that is not long enough to allow the tongue to move about as it should.
The condition, which is sometimes called tongue tie, may resolve itself over time. However, in many instances, it is best to have a frenectomy performed.
The frenectomy is a simple procedure in which the frenulum is snipped with a pair of medical scissors or a scalpel. The procedure is quick and causes little discomfort.
Here are a few reasons to have a frenectomy done promptly:
The Child Is Having Trouble Feeding
Babies sometimes have trouble feeding if the frenulum is too short. Bottle-fed infants may have less trouble than babies who are breastfed.
During breastfeeding, the tongue of the baby cradles the mother's breast to form a seal. If this seal is not formed, the flow of milk may not be sufficient.
The suction from the baby's mouth initiates a let-down response from the mother's mammary glands. This response allows the milk to flow freely into the nursing infant's mouth. However, without proper tongue function to form the seal, the let-down response may not occur, and the infant may not receive adequate nutrition.
Since breast milk contains important nutrients for a baby, some mothers prefer breastfeeding over giving their little ones formula. Thus, if a short frenulum is interfering with a child's ability to nurse properly, a frenectomy should be performed.
The Child Is Having Trouble With Speech
Not only does a short frenulum affect a child's ability to nurse. It also affects the youngster's ability to form words properly.
During the formation of speech, a child's tongue moves about the mouth to help create sounds. Some sounds may be difficult for a child with a short frenulum to form. If a frenectomy is not performed to free the tongue, the child may develop a permanent speech impediment or require speech therapy.
A frenectomy can be performed in a dentist's or pediatrician's office and requires no anesthesia. If your child has a short frenulum and you would like to have the tissue snipped, schedule a consultation with a dentist or pediatrician in your local area. Check out a website like http://www.vfdental.com for more information.