Speech Therapy vs Laser Frenectomy for Tongue-Tied Dental Patient

ImageImageAnkyloglossia 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.  

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About DesertRidgeSmiles

Desert Ridge Smiles in Phoenix Arizona
This entry was posted in Better Health, Children's Dental Health, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dentist, Health and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Speech Therapy vs Laser Frenectomy for Tongue-Tied Dental Patient

  1. Kirsten says:

    Wow, saw a speech therapist his “whole life” when all he needed was a 5-minute procedure. I too had a lingual frenectomy… when I was 34! I had been told by two speech therapists that I did not need to get my tongue-tie fixed. Well, I went ahead anyway and it was the best decision I ever made! I followed the procedure with myofunctional therapy (which I strongly recommend for anyone having a frenectomy) and everything improved: speech, eating, drinking, sleep, my appearance. Unfortunately, I have a prominent anterior open bite (despite 5 years of braces as a teen) because I also had a tongue thrust from being tongue-tied. That will need to be fixed with surgery and more braces. I wish more professionals understood the importance of getting a tongue-tie fixed. Thank you for sharing this!

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