Recently, when I visited the clinic, I found that more and more parents asked to check whether the frenulum of tongue was too short, mostly because they saw or heard others say on the Internet that [the disease] was very serious and would affect children’s speech.
In fact, there is no evidence to check the normal length and average thickness of lingual frenulum for infants from 0 to 3 months old, especially for newborns. We can only find clues from some clinical manifestations.
Under normal circumstances, I will briefly evaluate the distance between the baby’s tongue frenulum and the tip of the tongue, and then ask the family a few questions:
- Is it difficult for the baby to breastfeed? Have you seen the tip of your baby’s tongue sticking out of your red lips at ordinary times? Is there a small groove in the middle of the tip of the tongue when the baby stretches out the tongue to make the tip of the tongue V or W-shaped?
If there is a certain distance between the frenulum of the baby’s tongue and the tip of the tongue, and the baby has no obvious difficulty in breast-feeding, I would generally advise parents not to worry about it first, and then go to a professional stomatology hospital for examination when the child grows up (within 3-6 months).
Is what’s tongue frenulum too short?
Short frenulum of tongue, commonly known as [Lickitung], is a congenital developmental anomaly.
It is mainly manifested as follows:
- The tongue frenulum in the middle of the lower part of the tongue is too short to restrict the normal movement of the tongue, so that the tongue cannot stretch out of the mouth, or cannot contact the upper lip. When the tongue extends forward, the tongue is pulled by the short tongue frenulum, causing a small depression on the back of the tongue.
Does too short frenulum of tongue affect health?
1. Inarticulate speech
To a certain extent, it limits the movement of the tongue in the oral cavity and affects the enunciation and pronunciation, especially the curly tongue sound, palate sound and tongue sound. This slurred speech does not mean that children who speak late and have short tongue frenulum will not be affected in their language ability development. Of course, after the tongue movement is restricted, it will also have certain influence on chewing movement.
2. Difficulties in breastfeeding
When sucking milk in infancy, milk leakage occurs due to the inability to wrap the nipple, and sufficient milk cannot be eaten, which will affect the normal growth and development of the baby.
3. Tongue frenulum ulcer
Pressure ulcer is formed due to friction between lingual frenulum and lower anterior teeth.
Too short frenulum of tongue is mostly [temporary phenomenon]
In the newborn period, the frenulum of the tongue can extend to or near the tip of the tongue. After that, with the development of the tongue, the frenulum of the tongue will gradually retreat towards the root of the tongue. Generally, it takes about 2 years old before the frenulum of the tongue will be far away from the tip of the tongue.
Therefore, the lingual frenulum is mostly in a tense state in the newborn period, and the appearance of [lingual frenulum is too short] is mostly a temporary physiological phenomenon.
Is it appropriate to correct what?
The main hazards of too short lingual frenulum are difficulty in breast feeding and abnormal articulation. Therefore, there are two ideal times for common lingual frenulum correction:
1. Can’t eat milk
In the early stage, if the baby has breast-feeding disorders caused by the short frenulum of the tongue, the baby needs surgery, usually lingual frenulum incision. According to the guidelines of the American Children’s Dental Association, it is recommended to perform tongue frenulum shaping surgery on children with breast-feeding disorders within 6 months.
STEP 2 Can’t speak clearly
Generally, it is usually after 4 years old, because the baby may show certain articulation problems at this time, and can better cooperate with examination and post-operation nursing. This will help us to judge the baby’s articulation problems and the extent to which the frenulum of the tongue is too short. Of course, there is still some debate about the best operation period. The American Children’s Dental Association also stressed that the treatment of the frenulum of the tongue should follow the principle of individualized treatment, sometimes requiring multi-disciplinary comprehensive judgment.
Parents need to work with doctors to make decisions according to the specific conditions of their children and the benefits and risks of treatment. The purpose of surgery with too short frenulum is to lengthen the frenulum and increase the mobility of the tongue. For babies with certain abnormal articulation, parents also need to cooperate with corresponding language training.
Out of Common Mistakes
1. Can you open your mouth early after cutting the tongue frenulum?
This is completely taken for granted. The baby’s speaking time is affected by many factors, including heredity and acquired environment. It is definitely not this [scissors] that can solve the problem.
2. The newborn’s tongue frenulum is too short, so it is simply convenient to cut it?
Neonatal tongue-cutting frenulum incision is indeed a relatively simple operation, However, there is also the possibility of postoperative infection. In addition, during the neonatal period, a certain proportion of readhesion (scar contracture) occurs, resulting in shorter tongue frenulum, especially thicker tongue frenulum. Therefore, even after tongue frenulum incision, family members still need regular follow-up.
3. Can the tongue frenulum be improved after it is too short and trimmed?
This is not necessarily, not to say that the pronunciation will be accurate after surgery. There are also some people with too short frenulum of tongue who are still unclear after surgery, and their postoperative language training is also very important.
Based on the current research, the incidence rate of neonatal tongue frenulum is relatively high, but most of them belong to [temporary tongue frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum frenulum
Author: Zhu Jiajun