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Tongue and Lip Tie

Tongue and Lip Tie

What Does Tongue-Tied Mean? What you need to know about tongue-tie and lip-tie?

You may have heard about a child who is “tongue-tied” and wonder what it actually means. Everyone has two small attachments of muscle, one located on the inside of the upper lip and attaching at the gums between the two upper front teeth. If the attachment is too low on the gums, it can cause a gap between the two upper front teeth. This problem is known as “lip-tie” and can occasionally cause pain.

The second attachment is located underneath the tongue and attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If this attachment is located too close to the tip of the tongue, it can interfere with normal tongue movements. This condition is called being “tongue-tied” and can cause difficulty swallowing, eating and speaking.

Each of these muscle attachments is called a “frenum” and if either of the frena (plural of frenum) are in a less than ideal location, a simple surgery, called a frenectomy, can be performed.

Your pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Rishita Jaju at Smile Wonders, in Reston, Virginia, can examine your child and discuss tongue and lip-tie with you.

Children don’t always need a frenectomy surgery. A frenectomy is only indicated when:

  • The tongue frenum interferes with eating, swallowing or speaking
  • The lip frenum is catching, causing pain. In cases where there is no pain, often the gap between the baby teeth will close when permanent teeth come in, or the gap can be closed with braces.

Tongue-tie and lip-tie can be annoying problems for your child, and you need the help of a pediatric dentist like Dr. Rishita Jaju.

Call Smile Wonders in Reston, Virginia to find out more about your child’s dental health today! Call us at (571) 350-3663.