Between the tongue and the lower oral cavity (membrane) there are several thin walls. Bridle - sublingual soft fibrous compound that connects the lower surface of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth cavity. Properly developed bridle tongue allows you to reach all corners of the mouth.
This defect (short frenulum) is usually visible immediately after birth. When a child cries loudly, the edge of the tongue should rise up. Too short bridle prevents this. A short bridle restricts movement or completely immobilizes the tongue, preventing the baby:
To suck the breast - a short bridle makes feeding difficult, while the baby is actively working and sucking the breast. The baby gets tired while feeding, cries and interrupts food. Sucking the breast requires much more effort from the baby, and the most working part in this case is the middle, and not the tip of the tongue.
Chewing solid foods — when solid foods are introduced into the baby’s food, too short a bridle prevents its transportation through the esophagus. A piece of food must be lifted with the tip of the tongue up and guided to the esophagus so that the child can swallow. Chewing reflex requires moving the tongue between its molars. A short bridle prevents swallowing and chewing food.
Swallow saliva - in a resting position, the tongue should be raised up. A short bridle prevents the correct positioning of the tongue, which prevents the outflow of saliva, and it collects under the tongue or flows out.
Making vowels is also a method of articulation depending on the movement of the tongue. The correct pronunciation of many vowels requires raising the tip of the tongue to the top of the gum.
If the sublingual bridle is of the correct length, then the tongue has a rounded end, and if the tongue of the child has a shape similar to the heart, then it is likely that the bridle is shortened.
Depending on the degree of reduction, you can make trimming the frenulum of the tongue in newborns or try to stretch it. If the child has no problems with food, and he sucks the breast correctly, then there is a good chance that through regular massage and exercise you can stretch the bridle to the desired size.
If the defect is noticed in the maternity hospital, then the bridle is here and trimmed or sent to the dentist.
When to trim the bridle in newborns?
Some experts say that before deciding on a surgical intervention, you should try to reduce the disadvantage by using massage and special exercises. Others recommend cutting as soon as possible (before the child starts talking). Since the most difficult task is to teach the child then correct pronunciation. In addition, it is necessary to help the child build a model of good and proper nutrition, as well as the proper functioning of physiological functions and articulation, therefore, frenotomy (cutting the bridle) must be done at an early age.
The operation is quick and almost painless. After it is recommended to immediately attach the baby to the breast, sterile milk will wash and protect the wound from infection.
However, we must remember that the trimmed bridle increases the mobility of the tip of the tongue, but do not immediately expect that the child will succeed. It will take time for rehabilitation.
A few days after frenotomy, the child should be shown a speech therapist who will recommend appropriate exercises that will help to properly develop the language.
Why is a short bridle formed?
The reasons for the formation of short bridles in a child:
- environmental conditions;
- infection of the fetus in the womb;
- woman in labor over 35 years.
Should a child's bridle be trimmed?
Up to nine months, the bridle in children is trimmed without any anesthesia, and under local it is only from nine months, when it becomes more dense and it is no longer possible to cut with scissors. In this case, a special electrocoagulator is used, which cuts the bridle crosswise.
But not always, difficulties with sound pronunciation in a child over four years of age are caused by a short frenulum of the tongue, and in this case, cutting the frenulum under the tongue in children will not correct the pronunciation. You should consult a speech therapist.
Consequences of a short bridle?
The lingual bridle provides free movement in the mouth and is responsible for the correct pronunciation of specific sounds.
A short bridle is found in both children and adults (ankyloglossia). Such a defect can lead or has already led to severe speech disorders. In this situation, even adults, it is necessary to consider the procedure of cutting.
Without using operative surgery methods
You can try to break or stretch the bridle at home with the help of speech therapy and special exercises aimed at stretching the ligaments:
- stick out your tongue as much as possible and hide it deeper;
- perform such exercises as "lick the plate with the tongue", "the kitten drinks milk" "lick the ice cream";
- daily: open your mouth and alternately reach the tip of your tongue with your nose and chin;
- perform mechanical movements of the tongue from side to side on the lips, as if licking them.
Although it is not an easy task, try to catch the child’s tongue so that it does not slide through a sterile bandage or gauze. Then very carefully turn the tongue inside out at the top. You can also massage the bridle from the base of the tongue to its beginning.
Please note that in order to achieve a positive result from therapeutic methods, time and patience are needed.
In addition, when conducting a massage, you must have short nails, so as not to accidentally damage the bridle.
It is widely believed that the bridle can be trimmed only in childhood. But this is not the case; the correction of a defect is carried out at any age. Trimming the frenulum of the tongue in adults, protects against the occurrence of periodontal disease in the lower jaw. The operation is painless and bloodless, fast, using a laser.
This operation has no negative and negative consequences. But, as with any other surgery, compliance with the recommendations of the doctor in the postoperative period is required. And it is important to remember that speech will not be restored instantly. It will take effort and patience to perform special exercises in training and developing the muscles that regulate the movement of the tongue. There are a number of methods for trimming a short bridle, and for this, an adult needs to consult with your doctor.