Frenectomies & Their Impacts on Speech

January 10, 2020

A frenectomy is an oral surgery designed to correct lip or tongue ties. The surgeon will use scissors to cut or remove the frenulum, which is the bit of tissue that connects the tongue or lips to the mouth. 

If your child may need a frenectomy, you might wonder if this procedure will affect their speech in any way. Keep reading this short article to learn more.

Why Does My Child Need a Frenectomy? 

Both the tongue and lips need movement to allow the child to develop properly, from being able to eat to learning how to speak later on.

But sometimes, the connective tissue that links the tongue and lips to the mouth restricts this movement. This can create problems for the child early on. Infants, for instance, may have difficulty breastfeeding and may not even be able to use a bottle properly.

When the child is older, the shorter frenulum can cause speech issues or lead to jaw alignment problems. Children may compensate for the lack of movement by holding their jaw in an unnatural position just to be able to speak or eat.

What Are the Side Effects of Frenectomies?

In general, frenectomies are very simple procedures that heal quickly. 

But, like with all surgery, there are some potential side effects to take into account:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Pain and swelling
  • Unwanted reaction to the local anesthetic

In very rare cases, the frenulum may heal after the procedure and create the same issues all over again. However, this doesn’t happen often, and should a child experience this, their pediatric dentist will consider an alternative treatment more suitable for them.

Will a Frenectomy Affect Speech? 

Frenectomies aim to help a child have better lip and tongue movement in order to learn how to speak properly. 

The procedure itself won’t lead to speech difficulties, but in some cases, the child may still need some speech therapy afterward. If the child is older and already talking, they may have already developed certain speech habits, which the frenectomy won’t remove overnight.

After all, your child learned how to speak without being able to fully use their tongue or lips like other children. They needed to compensate for the frenulum restriction, which resulted in a speech impediment.

But now that they can freely move their lips and tongue, a few sessions with a speech therapist will likely help them tremendously improve their speech.

Getting a Frenectomy in Torrance

If your child has difficulty speaking or eating and you suspect they may benefit from a frenectomy, Dr. Michael Park is here to help.

Bring your child to Sky Pediatric Dentistry for a short consultation to find out if frenectomies are the right solution to help them develop their speech properly. 

You can request a visit to Sky Pediatric Dentistry online or call us at (310) 901-2300 today.

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