Tongue-tie and diastema (a term that refers to a gap or space in the teeth) are both conditions caused by the frenulum. You are born with two frenula: one upper, and one lower. The upper frenulum is the piece of tissue that connects your upper lip to the gums. The lower frenulum attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When these frenula aren’t in the proper position, it can cause problems for your oral health. You can visit our office in Bellaire, TX, to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Iero.
The term tongue-tie is used to refer to patients whose lower frenulums are attached to a spot too far forward on the tongue. When this occurs, it can disrupt proper oral function. The condition is often noticed when a child is still young. Depending on the severity, common issues associated with tongue-tie include
- Trouble breastfeeding (when the child is still an infant), and then problems eating as they get older
- Issues with digestion (caused by eating problems)
- Speech difficulties
- Problems with kissing/social skills
Fortunately, tongue-tie is an easily corrected condition. There are a few options available for treatment, and the procedure needed will depend on the individual’s specific needs. In some cases, the frenum can be snipped and disconnected from the tongue completely. In others, the frenum is simply detached and then reattached in a more optimal position on the tongue (commonly called a frenectomy procedure). Regardless of the treatment, Dr. Iero will likely use a form of anesthesia to ensure there is no discomfort.
The term diastema refers to a gap or space between the teeth. One of the main causes of a diastema in the front teeth is a poorly positioned upper frenulum. A diastema caused by the frenulum can be treated at any age, though we recommend early treatment for an easier procedure and quicker recovery. Similar to tongue-tie, the common treatment for a diastema is a frenectomy, a procedure in which Dr. Iero will snip the frenulum and either reattach it in a better position on the gums or remove it completely.
Tongue-Tie and Diastema Treatment in Bellaire, TX
If you or your child suffers from a tongue-tie or diastema caused by the upper frenulum, contact our office. Dr. Iero can examine the frenulum and determine whether a frenectomy or other treatment is necessary to correct the problem. We look forward to meeting you.