San Francisco and Marin CA
As a parent, you want to protect your kids and give them the best life possible. Unfortunately, sometimes our children have physical challenges that can sound scary but are easily handled with skilled medical intervention. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your kids for signs and symptoms that could indicate a potential problem is on the horizon. Our Bay Area pediatric dentists at Glen Park Dental share on the blog six symptoms in kids that parents shouldn’t ignore. Plus, find out what to do if you notice your child exhibiting these signs.
The frenulum is a small tissue piece that connects the upper lip to the gum, and the tissue piece that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Our San Francisco children’s dentists explain that when the frenulum is too short or tight, it restricts lip or tongue movement and can contribute to multiple oral problems. This condition may be referred to as a lip or tongue-tie.
What symptoms should I expect to witness with frenulum complications?
Children who have a shorter frenulum and could benefit from a frenectomy can illustrate symptoms that parents shouldn’t ignore. Our pediatric dentists in Oakland share below the symptoms that accompany frenulum challenges.
The earliest sign of trouble with a shortened frenulum is when your child has trouble breastfeeding as an infant. Babies who fail to latch to their mothers appropriately may suffer other health problems like hunger, weight loss, or develop colic or jaundice. On the other hand, mothers may have painful or damaged nipples, blocked ducts, mastitis, engorgement, or an over or undersupply of milk. Additionally, mothers can become tired, frustrated, and discouraged with the baby and breastfeeding experience.
A child with an untreated frenulum condition may not be able to achieve proper oral resting posture or prevent their tongue from touching the roof of their mouth when swallowing. Unfortunately, our Marin children’s dentists explain that the condition can narrow the child’s palate and reduce nasal spaces for effective nasal breathing, resulting in the child’s mouth breathing and being prone to obstructive sleep apnea that can last through adulthood.
Gapped Upper Front Teeth
Children who have a prominent gap between their two front teeth may have a tight frenulum that’s causing interference with their teeth moving into their proper position. Since the frenulum connects to the gum tissue edge, it could cause a gap between the teeth. Some children will experience natural tooth movement, but others may require a frenectomy and orthodontic treatment to close the gap.
Tongue ties can make it challenging for your child to swallow, not only during the breastfeeding months but throughout their adolescent years until they receive the proper treatment. Our dentists in the Bay Area that treat tongue-ties explain that when the child’s frenulum is tight, it restricts the range of motion needed to place the tongue in its correct position to swallow. Therefore, by releasing the tie, the child can chew and swallow more effectively.
Your child’s shortened frenulum could contribute to early gum recession. The frenulum connects directly to the gum tissue edge. As the frenulum pulls on the tissue, it could cause gum recession, which increases your child’s risk for gum disease and cavities. Therefore, a frenectomy can stop the gums from pulling away from your child’s teeth and protect their oral health.
As your child begins learning how to speak, you may notice that they struggle to form certain words, letters, or sounds. Without the tongue’s full motion range, your child may find speaking challenging. Children who develop a lisp or exhibit abnormal speech patterns should promptly schedule a consultation with our Oakland dentists that treat kids for an examination.
What is a frenectomy?
A frenectomy can sound like a scary procedure but it’s very simple. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, nearly 5% of newborns need a frenectomy to improve their quality of life. A frenectomy is a procedure to address connective oral tissues like a tongue tie. Using a precise dental laser, the dentist releases the restricted frenum. There is minimum recovery and the procedure can even be done on infants.
Frenectomy in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California
You want the best health and future for your child. Therefore, you must take action and resolve the shortened frenulum before serious health problems occur. If you think your infant or adolescent child could benefit from a frenectomy, feel free to call our San Francisco pediatric dental office, Glen Park Dental, at (415) 585-1500 or contact us online to request an appointment today.