Tongue clipping, or frenulotomy, is a simple office procedure where an extra piece of tissue, the lingual frenum is clipped, releasing the tip of the tongue from the base of the mouth. Typically present at birth, tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia is when the frenulum is partly or completely fused to the base of the mouth, which restricts the tongue’s range of motion and can affect how one eats, speaks and swallows. It is more often seen in boys than in girls and can run in your family.
You might have a tongue tie if you notice the following:
-You have a hard time lifting your tongue up to your upper teeth.
-You have a hard time moving your tongue from side to side.
-You have a hard time sticking your tongue out past your lower front teeth.
-Your tongue looks heart-shaped or notched when you try to stick it out.
-For babies, tongue-tie can cause trouble latching on and keeping suction going during breastfeeding.
-Speech problems making it hard to create certain sounds: “t,” “d,” “z,” “s,” “th,” “r” and “l”.
-For older children, they may be bothered by their tongue problems because it makes it hard to eat, speak and reach the back teeth.
-Problems sweeping food particles from the teeth which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
-Formation of a space or gap between the two bottom front teeth.
When tongue-tie causes problems, there’s no need to leave things as they are. Deciding to have a frenulectomy can solve the problem quickly, and is a short, easy procedure which the patient can be awake for. The doctor simply snips the frenulum to free the tongue and restore ease of movement.
The benefits of doing this procedure improves the patient’s quality of life by:
-Allowing for proper tongue position to aide in the growth of the upper and lower jaw.
-Prevents periodontal issues that can occur by eliminating the pulling of the tissue from the back of the lower incisors.
-Proper tongue position means better airway.
-Allows for better mobility for proper swallowing.
-Can correct disfluent speech (stuttering) and helps with articulation (pronunciation).
If your child has a tongue-tie problem and you would like to have our orthodontist take a look at it, we welcome you to give our team a call today at 402.330.1152.