Do I have to remove my child's tongue frenulum?

The ankyloglossiacommonly known as "Lingual frenulum"is a developmental anomaly of the tongue characterised by a thick and short lingual frenulum that restricts tongue movements (partial ankyloglossia) or causes it to be completely fused to the floor of the mouth (total ankyloglossia).

This problem starts at an early age, as many babies are unable to be breastfed due to limited tongue movements. Intervention at such an early age is more than indicated if there are breastfeeding problems.

In newborns, the frenulum tissue is in most cases only mucosal, with no fibrous tissue, so the frenulum is not a early diagnosis and treatment facilitates the procedure. The ideal time to perform it would be before the age of one year, but not before 4 months. The treatment is simple and with minimal discomfort for babies.

If the diagnosis is made at an older age, it is usually due to speech problems, as ankyloglossia prevents the correct pronunciation of various phonemes. Treatment in this case is also simple, but it must be accompanied by the treatment of a speech therapist to re-educate speech.

What are the signs of a short lingual frenulum?

  • Difficulty in suckling
  • Failure to get the tip of the tongue beyond the teeth
  • When the tongue is raised, it forms a "V" shape, and when it tries to stick out of the mouth, it takes on a heart-shaped form.
  • Incorrect pronunciation of "r".

Treatment at the dental clinic is quick and the results are immediate, as the frenulum cut or frenectomy frees the tongue as soon as it is performed. Antibiotic treatment is not necessary and for the postoperative period we only recommend adequate oral hygiene, a soft diet and painkillers according to the needs of each patient.