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Male Dentist Examines A Young Patient

When the child has limited mobility of the tongue, we must be attentive because it could be a serious problem that affects their development.

What is The Short Lingual Frenulum?

The sublingual frenulum is a membrane that is under the tongue.  When it is shorter than normal, the movements of this organ are limited. 

People who have this condition can not touch the palate or upper lip with the tip of the tongue.

This disorder affects between 1 and 2.8% of children; It is also known as lingual hookworm or anchored tongue.

What Is The Short Lingual Frenulum

Types of short bridle

  • Anterior frenulum type 1: It extends from the base of the tongue to its tip. It takes a heart shape and you cannot touch the lower gum. The movement of the tongue is restricted.
  • Anterior frenulum type 2: The tissue is behind the tip of the tongue giving it a flat or arched appearance. Limit elevation and extension.
  • Type 3 posterior frenulum: It is located in the back of the tongue. It has another type of submucosal anchor in the floor of the mouth. The tongue sinks in the center or curves at the sides and does not reach the palate with an open mouth. The elevation, basically, is restricted.
  • Type 4 posterior frenulum: Also called short tongue. It is hidden by a mucous tissue, totally prevents the movement of the tongue.

Causes and treatment of the short lingual frenulum

The cause of the short lingual frenulum is unknown, but it is presumed to be genetic since the problem tends to run in some families. It is more common in boys than in girls. This is caused by the poor separation of the hyogloss and genioglossus muscles during the formation of the fetus leaving it out of the tongue. It can be identified by the appearance of certain symptoms such as the narrow palate, which causes malocclusions (dental crowding and tooth rotations). In addition to retrognathia, which places the lower jaw in a more backward position than the upper jaw.

Causes And Treatment Of The Short Lingual Frenulum

Another sign of the presence of the problem is the difficulty in raising the tongue in the direction of the upper teeth. Move it from side to side. In addition to difficulty removing it beyond the upper teeth. As well as showing a cleft or heart shape when the tongue is removed.

Treatment For The Short Lingual Frenulum

The treatment for this disorder will depend on the severity of the case. Sometimes you just need to do a series of exercises under the supervision of a speech therapist. These serve to replace the mobility of the language.

But in more severe cases it is necessary to perform a lingual frenulum surgery. This is a minor operation, called lingual frenectomy. It is performed with local anesthesia and does not generate many complications.

Although in less common cases there may be bleeding, infection, inflammation of the tongue and damage to the salivary gland ducts. Likewise, the appearance of residual scar tissue.

It is advisable to do the exercises with a speech therapist after the intervention. All under the supervision of a specialist in pediatric dentistry. The operation is considered when children have trouble sucking and feeding and they not represent improvement in the limitation of the movement of the tongue over time.