Speech delays are a known risk for babies born prematurely, and although some of the risk is associated with just being little and therefore a little behind, there are some dental related issues that are conducive to delayed speech development. A condition known as “tongue tied” in which the lingual fraenulum, the skin that connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, is short and causes problems not only with sucking, but if left untreated, it contributes to speech delay. A dentist can catch this condition early, monitor it, and perhaps even help expedite speech articulation with a timely and small operation known as a frenectomy. Even if speech is not impacted, oral hygiene conditions can persist in those with this short fraenulum because it hinders the tongues ability to help clean the teeth and the mouth. |
Your baby may also be a late tooth cutter if he is a preemie, and while this condition can be a sign of illness or infection; it usually is attributed plain old pre-maturity. Because pre-term babies do not receive the nutrition from their mothers for the last weeks of gestation as full term babies do, doctors and think that there is probably some link between week’s gestation and tooth eruption. Keep in mind however, that until your child is two years of age, for all medical and developmental purposes, doctors and therapists will make diagnoses based on gestational age rather than calendar age. So if your thirty-three week preemie is eight months old and you are worried about late tooth eruption, remember that developmentally, he is only around six months old. It is important to always tell your medical professional if he/she is dealing with a preemie.
Enamel hyplasia is also common among early bird babies. This is condition in which there is a lack of enamel in both baby teeth and sometimes even in permanent teeth. If you are proactive about getting your baby to a dentist, teeth can be monitored for this condition and others that are common among pre-term children. Lack of enamel makes teeth prone to cavities, and waiting until your child is several years old to discover the condition is several years too late to try to prevent damage.
Among various other things for which you need to be pro-active concerning a pre-term baby, forming a good relationship with a pediatric dentist in early infancy is the best way to monitor and treat potential conditions.
Finding a Greensboro dentist may be a challenge. For a highly trained professional, please visit: http://www.brassfielddental.com/
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