Signs Your Child Needs a Frenectomy

Ankyloglossia, also known as “tongue-tie”, is a congenital condition that limits the movements of the tongue. This condition involves a shortened and tightened band of flesh that attaches the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Correcting tongue-tie involves a procedure called a frenectomy. Here is what you can do to check if your child needs this type of surgery.


Your Baby’s Tongue Moves in an Extremely Limited Way

A tongue-tied baby has a tongue that cannot move sideways, cannot reach the roof of the mouth, cannot move beyond the gums, and has a heart-shaped or V-shaped tip when it extends. The extreme limitation in the movement is caused by the attached fold of tight skin under your child’s tongue.


There Are Problems With Your Baby’s Feeding

When a mother breastfeeds her child, it strengthens the bond between them. With ankyloglossia, your baby’s behavior changes during every feeding. Because of the band of flesh attached between the tongue and the floor of the mouth, your baby:

  • Chews more on the mother’s nipple instead of just sucking.
  • Cannot latch very well while feeding, so there is no continuous flow of milk.
  • Seems to want to feed more frequently because your baby doesn’t feel full.
  • Makes a distinct clicking sound during feeding.
  • Is a fussy eater.
  • Doesn’t gain the weight you or your pediatrician want.
  • Breastfeeds for an extended period then stops before feeding for a long period again.


Your Child Experiences Certain Physical and Behavioral Difficulties

Many parents fail to detect that their child is suffering from ankyloglossia. If you suspect your child to be tongue-tied, then your child:

  • Finds it difficult to swallow.
  • Speaks with difficulty.
  • Usually chokes or gags on solid foods.
  • Develops a gap between the two lower front teeth.
  • Finds it hard to kiss or lick an ice cream or a lollipop.
  • Has difficulty producing certain sounds, such as z, d, r, l, the, s, n, and t.
  • Has a late growth of permanent teeth.


You Experience Problems With Breastfeeding

During normal breastfeeding, your baby must keep the tongue on top of the lower gum as sucking transpires. If your baby cannot move the tongue around and maintain its correct place, the baby tends to chew. This results in significant pain around the nipple area, which prevents your baby from getting enough milk.


Your Child Has Poor Oral Care

If your infant’s ankyloglossia is not treated right away, it is carried until your baby grows older. Adults and older children with this condition find it difficult to remove pieces of food from their teeth as they eat. Because of this, they develop gingivitis and tooth decay.

If you’re still uncertain about whether your baby needs a frenectomy or not, you can ask our experts here at Reaves Dental. Feel free to call us at (315) 736-0139. Better yet, please drop by in our New Hartford, New York, office at your convenience and set up an appointment with us.

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