Speech Therapy vs Laser Frenectomy for Tongue-Tied Dental Patient
Ankyloglossia or Tongue-Tied is a condition that is present in some newborns, where the frenum, a thickened band of tissue under the tongue, is shortened and attached to the end of the tongue. This can cause decreased mobility in the tongue, and can affect feeding, speech and oral hygiene.
The sounds that are most commonly affected due to ankyloglossia are “D”, “L”, “R”, “S”, “T”, “Th”, and “Z”. Most often, these children see a speech pathologist when they are tongue-tied, to help them learn to enunciate these sounds better.
A frenectomy can be performed very easily with the use of topical anesthesia and a soft tissue laser, which frees up the tongue and allows for better movement. These photos were from a 12 year old boy who had the procedure done in our office. Followup picture was one week after surgery was done. When asked if the surgery was worth it, the young patient said, “Absolutely!”. He had been seeing a speech therapist his whole life, prior to the frenectomy.
To see if this procedure is right for you or your kids, contact your dentist for an oral examination.
We welcome your comments and suggestions!
Dr. Elizabeth J Fleming and the Staff at Desert Ridge Smiles.