Miami and Coral Gables, FL
Have you noticed a gap between your child’s upper front teeth? Also known as maxillary midline diastema, an upper lip-tie is present in more than 50 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 8 years old.
The most common medical treatment for a lip-tie is a frenectomy, which is a surgical procedure that releases the restriction. Although these gaps between the front teeth can and sometimes do resolve without surgical intervention, taking the “wait and see” approach leaves your child at risk for a variety of behavioral and developmental problems that can stem from this type of tethered oral tissue.
For infants, the consequences of a lip-tie may include breastfeeding problems, failure to thrive, and poor bonding between baby and mother, as well as sleep deprivation. In older children, tethered oral tissue can make it difficult to chew or swallow solid foods. It can cause delayed speech development or deterioration of speech, as well as a loss of self-confidence and difficulties maintaining proper dental hygiene.
If left untreated, many of these problems magnify and multiply into adulthood, most often presenting themselves in speech problems but also affecting individuals at work and in social situations because of sensitivity and low self-confidence about personal appearance. Tethered oral tissue also can lead to jaw problems, a precursor to temporomandibular joint disorder, and even increase the likelihood of painful migraine headaches.
Yes, that gap between your child’s front teeth may close on its own, but is it worth the risk of a potential lifetime of consequences to see if it does? We don’t think so.
When a frenectomy is needed for a lip-tie, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced dentist to perform the procedure, and Miami Designer Smiles can help. Contact us at (305) 595-4616 to schedule an appointment.
Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Coral Gables, and Miami, Florida.