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frenulum

(6 Posts)
fiveaddwhat Wed 20-Feb-13 21:11:31

Hello. A new dentist saw my 4 year old son today. He said his teeth were in perfect condition, but that there could be a problem with the small bit of skin that attaches his upper lip to his upper gum (which is apparently called a frenulum). It is longer than normal, said the dentist, and when permanent teeth appear, the frenulum either will retract to be normal length or will need to be "snipped".

This sounds ludicrous to me, and I've never heard of such an idea before. My son speaks, eats, spits and does anything he's supposed to with his mouth perfectly. The dentist said the reason would be that without this "snip" my son's mouth might tend to stay open, which sounds like a purely cosmetic reason.

Does anyone have any experience of this or advice to offer? We live in Belgium by the way, but I'd be pleased to know if this is normal in the UK or elsewhere.

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 21-Feb-13 14:02:51

dd's orthodontist said that her frenulum contributed to the (large) gap between her adult front teeth. He did mention that it could be snipped but it was too late to prevent the need for braces.

narmada Thu 21-Feb-13 21:29:52

Yes, lip tie - Google it. Your dentist is the pro and surely it will be a v straighrforward snip? I think it worth it to prevent possible gappy teeth.Your dentist sounds quite forward- thinking TBH.

Skiffle Fri 22-Feb-13 22:40:27

My DD has an upper lip tie which I found out after googling. It didn't cause any problems breastfeeding but there's a fairly large gap between her front teeth. She's only 20m at the moment and the dentist told me that sometimes it will get thinner as they grow up (although I haven't been able to find anything online that confirms this) so it's not worth doing anything about at this point, as apparently it can need a general anaesthetic to do the snip so it's not something to choose lightly. It does concern me though as surely by the time her adult teeth come in it will be too late and she would then need braces.

sannaville Sat 23-Feb-13 18:48:25

My dd had this and dentist told us the same thing however at her last check when she was 3.5 it had reduced a great deal so you can wait 6 months and see if it has gone of its own accord, sometimes it goes wh
En the baby teeth fall out

Wingdingdong Sat 23-Feb-13 22:13:44

DS has this too. Also had 65% posterior tongue tie - we had some pretty bad problems with feeding, only resolved in the last month (he's now 1).

Our dentist said not to worry too much, it may well cause a gap in the adult teeth or it may weaken or even snap by itself. The tongue tie specialist (NHS consultant) said that in the UK, whilst he snips tongue ties all the time he doesn't even look at lip ties until the age of 7 when secondary teeth start coming in - though he knew of one consultant in the whole of the UK who would snip lip ties (privately) before that age if we were desperate. I asked for reasons and was told that snipping the lip tie too early could actually cause problems with speech, leaving the upper lip flapping. In the US it's quite widespread - this UK consultant said they're now seeing problems further down the line.

Difficult to work out really - getting it snipped could prevent speech and orthodontic problems, but if done unnecessarily, could cause them.

There's not a lot of info available here.

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