Attached Upper Lip Frenulum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

 

Recently I noticed my 16 month old son has a tight upper lip frenulum (the skin connecting the lip to the gums). It's quite thick and extends down between his two front teeth causing a gap to accommodate the excess skin.

 

It's my understanding that it can cause speech delays and dental issues down the road, but I'm finding out that only about 40% of pediatric dentists recommend a Labial Frenectomy (snipping). Other dentists say it's better to wait until the child falls and/or hits the area causing it to break on it's own. That seems a bit odd to me... What if that never happens or too late when a speech/dental problem is already in the works? Poor guy hates getting his teeth brushed (can't blame him) and I'm trying to be as gentle as possible but it's hard to clean them properly.

 

Does anyone have experience with this?

 

My husband just switched jobs and our new insurance doesn't kick in until the first of March, so I'm stuck worrying about it until then. :(

 

Thanks for reading.

-D

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#2 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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dd1 had this as well...we actually didn't realize it was too big/thick until she fell and smashed into something causing it to tear.

We called her dentist and they said not to worry and after looking at our charts said that its better it happened this way then having to wait to have it clipped. (she fell at about 3 yrs old.) her dentist said that because of this issue alot of time when these kids fall it tears because its not supposed to be this way and that she actually doesn't have to "clip" many children at all.

She did say that when she lost her baby teeth and started to grow her permanet teeth in there she would look at it and see if the teeth were coming in without a gap or if it needed to be clipped. From what I understood she didn't want to have it done to a child unless it was a serious thing before the age they were lossing teeth.

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#3 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for responding chattyprincess. :) Did your daughter have any speech problems or delays?

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#4 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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No delays in anyway...I almost wish she had! She was a really active first born so yeah lol. She didn't talk or babble much as an infant but she was crawling unassisted at 5 1/2 mths an walking unassisted at 8 mths. She started talking and was talking far ahead of other kids really quickly. But thats just her! lol

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#5 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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I suspect this is what DS had as a baby but have no way to confirm because I didn't know about it at the time & it looks like it tore on its own sometime when he was around a year old (so maybe not as thick as your DS's). He had some problems nursing which I think were related to that (though everyone seems to think this wouldn't cause nursing issues but I really do think it did for DS!!) but he hasn't had any speech delays, he's ahead verbally in fact...


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#6 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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If it was loose enough that he could BF without issues, then chances are that it's not liable to cause speech delays. 

 

My little guy had one that was so tight he couldn't BF, so we had it clipped at 8 wks.  But if he had been BFing fine, the dentist would not have agreed to do it.


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#7 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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Ds has this. I didn't notice it until he as over a year but I'm pretty sure it's why bfing has never been particularly comfortable for me (especially after teeth) - because his lip cannot flare the way it should. So far his speech is just fine - his at the bottom end of "normal" but his pronunciation is really clear so I'm not concerned.
 

I was just talking to a friend the other day about this & apparently her brother had this problem. They snipped it when he was a teenager & having dental work done 'cause it was preventing the gap in his teeth to close. FWIW - she also had a big gap in her teeth but no problem with a frenulum so the gap was not necessarily caused by the frenulum.

 

I'll ask our dentist at ds' first appt (probably around 3) but I suspect we will go with a wait & see approach.


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#8 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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One of my 5yr DDs has this. It also causes a gap in her front teeth, she has been to the dentist multiple times and no worries. She did not have any speech delays. She did have feeding delays- but it was not due to that- but poor oral motor from prematurity.

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#9 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Two of mine had it and we just had it taken care of as it was causing problems for both.  None of us realized the extent of the issues and we all were shocked at what changed after the procedures.  They were 4 and 6.

 

I'm lucky enough to know quite a bit about this particular issue and to work with people who have a lot of experience with it.  I have no regrets other than taking so long to do something about it.

 

My advice would be to do your own research.  I wouldn't personally rely on a local dentist without reading the literature or talking to people who handle this on a regular basis.  That's what ultimately tipped me over the edge.  The doc that did it had just come back from Israel and we had been in communication back and forth.  He had some great feedback about procedures he performed when he was there that were relevant to our situation.  Because he knew more than most about it I was far more interested in what he had to say.  I balanced that with what I had seen with children who had the procedure and what I had been reading.

 

It's not a decision to make lightly, but I wish I had known the ramifications of not doing something earlier. 

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#10 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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I still have it in my late 30's and have had no problems other than a small gap between my teeth. i choose the small gap over having someone cut me.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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I think it's important to know what the problems *could* be before saying that.

 

I am a non-interventionist mama.  This was important to do.  I never in a million years thought that that frenulum could have caused difficulty breathing, reflux or a chronic cough.  But, it did.

 

It's like food allergies to me.  Most people don't think they have symptoms until they know what the symptoms are.

 

I'm not saying you have any at all, just giving a different perspective.

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#12 of 14 Old 01-13-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjorne View Post

I think it's important to know what the problems *could* be before saying that.

 

I am a non-interventionist mama.  This was important to do.  I never in a million years thought that that frenulum could have caused difficulty breathing, reflux or a chronic cough.  But, it did.

 

It's like food allergies to me.  Most people don't think they have symptoms until they know what the symptoms are.

 

I'm not saying you have any at all, just giving a different perspective.



PB- I would love more info on this. Do you have any sites you can recommend? Is it a super painful ordeal when it's clipped?

 

OP-Dd has this issue as well. She talks a ton and doesn't seem to be hurting her speech in anyway. I haven't been to concerned about BUT after reading PB's post I feel I need to look into it more.  She did have really bad reflux as a baby and had a hard time latching. She also hates brushing her front teeth because of it and has a hard time biting into certain foods. She's fell and smacked her frenulum I think twice now and I hoped it would tear it but never did just cut it a little. 

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#13 of 14 Old 01-13-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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hi there.  my kids were older and theirs were quite thick.  We never had to use pain meds, but that was because I hit it from a few different angles with homeopathy, cell salts and herbs. 

 

I will find some sites that discuss some of the ramifications.  I studied the information for a few years, and ultimately wasn't 100% convinced...but we needed to rule it out as being an issue before other, more invasive steps.  I'm certainly glad I did.  It can affect breathing, digestion, sinus health, dental structure, speech, coordination etc.

 

We used Dr Kotlow in Albany, NY.  www.kiddsteeth.com  He has some great info on his site, but it isn't nearly everything.  However I found him invaluable long before I met him.  He is quite willing to communicate with people and educate them about this particular subject.

 

I've now had the opportunity to see the revision and it's effects on a wide range of kids-age wise.  I have no doubts anymore.

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#14 of 14 Old 01-13-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjorne View Post

hi there.  my kids were older and theirs were quite thick.  We never had to use pain meds, but that was because I hit it from a few different angles with homeopathy, cell salts and herbs. 

 

I will find some sites that discuss some of the ramifications.  I studied the information for a few years, and ultimately wasn't 100% convinced...but we needed to rule it out as being an issue before other, more invasive steps.  I'm certainly glad I did.  It can affect breathing, digestion, sinus health, dental structure, speech, coordination etc.

 

We used Dr Kotlow in Albany, NY.  www.kiddsteeth.com  He has some great info on his site, but it isn't nearly everything.  However I found him invaluable long before I met him.  He is quite willing to communicate with people and educate them about this particular subject.

 

I've now had the opportunity to see the revision and it's effects on a wide range of kids-age wise.  I have no doubts anymore.


Wow I had no idea something what seems so minor to me could affect so many things about children's health! Thank you for the info and opening my eyes that this could be a potential issue for DD.

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