Attached Upper Lip Frenulum

Maggie - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I just noticed that my 17 month old son has an attached upper lip frenulum (the skin that goes between the lip and upper gums). How big of a deal is this? I have read that it causes speech delays, gaps between the front teeth and difficulty latching during breastfeeding. My son has a pretty good gap and he did have some difficulty breastfeeding before he weened himself (at 10 months). He also hates having his teeth brushed and now I think it might be because of this. Maybe it hurts him. What can I do?!

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Holli - posted on 02/28/2011

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Don't rush and get it cut! My daughter also has this (she is 15 months) and the orthodontist told me to wait until she is old enough to get her teeth corrected with braces. If you cut it while they are young it may cause scar tissue and then the gap in the teeth won't be able to be corrected. This is only my experience though, different doctors and dentists have different opinions.

Marina - posted on 01/19/2010

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My older son had this and he fell while running and ripped it, it healed a bit and then he did it again. Now it's gone and his teeth have gone together. He had no trouble nursing though and now my second child has the same thing and also has no trouble nursing but I do dread the blood and crying if he happens to get it ripped. My friends child also has it and she has been told the dentist will snip it around age 10. I don't know what the reason is for waiting. Goodluck!

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Joy - posted on 03/01/2011

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Have him see a pedodontist. The frenulums can be easily removed now these days with a laser. Good luck!

Sneaky - posted on 10/19/2010

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My second baby girl has this - do NOT wait to go to the dentist! All my girls have been going since the age of 12 months (no teeth before then, lol!) but my dentist explained to me that because it actually contains a ligament it can not just be 'snipped' it actually has to have the ligament tied off or you get more problems e.g. being unable to control your upper lip. Since my daughter is so young, only two now, we originally decided to wait and see if she developed a speech impediment from it before undergoing the surgery with general anesthetic. She did have trouble with breast feeding and sometimes still has trouble with eating, plus her speech is beginning to sound a bit slurred so we will have to follow up with the dentist at her next six month visit (in December) and see if it is surgery time :o(

I am in Australian though, if you are in the US or Europe your dentists might be trained differently and work to different standards.

All I can advise, again, is get him to a dentist as soon as possible - if it is going to affect his speech it is better to get is sorted out now instead of dealing with years of speech therapy later . . . and yes, that is the WORST case scenario. Your dentist can probably reassure you that it is absolutely nothing to worry about and that he/she has seen thousands worse than that!

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i just found out my son has this too. My older son has the opposit.. he's tongue tied. Not too sure about this either. If you have more info. would you mind e-mailing me, as there is not too much information out there.

Alicia - posted on 01/19/2010

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Both of my little ones had attached upper lip frenulums and both have gap between their front teeth. Last year, my son (6 now) had his corrected shortly after his front teeth fell out. While he had no speech problems prior to this, I was told that this surgery would correct his gap. To date, he still has a gap; but his teeth are not completely in yet either. The dentist recommended that my daughter (3, at the time) wait for the surgery since she may interrupt the healing process (due to her age).

One last thing to add...my dentist mentioned that he sees more speech impediments in patients with thick under-tongue frenulums.

Good Luck!

Melinda - posted on 01/19/2010

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The next time you visit your doctor bring it up. See what the doctor has to say about it and go from there.

Emily - posted on 01/19/2010

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my son a small one of those the dentist removed it if it worries you show it to the peditrician they just numbed the skin and cut it if he is a baby though you'll want a docotrs advice seems like small problem does it bug him??

Ryan - posted on 01/19/2010

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When my sister was about 10, I guess, I remember her having to go to the dentist to correct this. It was a simple in office procedure. They numbed the area and then cauterized the frenulum to the normal length. I'm sure they don't have to wait until he's 10 to do something to correct it. Just call and talk with your pedi's nurse to ask further questions, and then you could also schedule an appt with a dentist. However, you might want to wait until after he's two for that appointment.

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