A Simple Procedure To Help With Speech And Dental Health
Have You Or Someone You Love Been Tongue-Tied?
You’ve probably heard of the term “tongue-tied.” Did you know that this common expression comes from an actual medical condition that can inhibit speech? The tongue is attached (or tied) to the base of the mouth by a thin tissue web called the lingual frenum. For some people, the frenum is unusually thick or tight, restricting tongue movement and, therefore, speech. It can also negatively affect nursing in infants.
A tongue-tie can lead to:
- Feeding difficulties and dental development (especially in children).
- Speech difficulties, especially for sounds that require tongue elevation, such as: s, z, t, d, l, r.
- Saliva management during speech and or eating.
- Frenum scraping against the lower central incisors, and at times becoming pinched.
- The inability to sweep the lips, which is common while eating an ice cream cone or in licking your lips.
- In an attempt to compensate for the lack of tongue movement, some children demonstrate an increase in lateral or forward mandibular movement.
How Does a Frenectomy Help Tongue-Tied?
When someone is tongue-tied, Dr. Clothier may recommend releasing the frenum slightly. This is called a lingual frenectomy. It’s a common and simple procedure that can be done right here in our practice. Whether you’re an adult who wants to untie your tongue or a lingual frenectomy has been recommended for your child, Dr. Clothier would like to give you an idea of what to expect from this procedure. It may sound intimidating, but it’s actually very simple. The frenum doesn’t have nerves or muscle; it’s simply a connective tissue like an earlobe. The procedure usually takes under 10 minutes, and most patients feel fully recovered within the hour.
Put Your Tongue-Tied Days Behind You At Smile Solutions
Dr. Clothier would like you to know a lingual frenectomy is nothing to be nervous about. If you think a lingual frenectomy may help you or a family member, let us know! Give us a call at (620) 231-4140 with any questions regarding a lingual frenectomy.