Do You or Your Child Child Need a Frenectomy?

Do You or Your Child Child Need a Frenectomy?

What is a frenum?

A “frenum” is a natural part of your oral anatomy, comprised of a band of tissue that connects two areas of soft tissue in your mouth. You can see if you lift your upper lip in front of the mirror.

The main frenums in your mouth connect your upper lip to the gums between your upper two front teeth (called the labial frenum,) your lower lip to your lower gums between your lower two front teeth, as well as your tongue to the floor of your mouth (called the lingual frenum.) The band of tissue allows for adequate oral movement to encourage speech, chewing and eating. You may have heard the term “tongue tie,” which is another way of referring to a tight frenum underneath the tongue. 

So, what’s the problem? 

Difficulties arise when the frenum tissue is too short, thick or tight, pulling on the surrounding tissues and preventing oral movement. Some signs and symptoms of an inadequate frenum include speech impediment, inability to stick the tongue out, or a “scalloped” looking tongue, difficulty with swallowing, difficulty with biting and chewing, a space between the two front teeth and even gum recession. 

Frenum cases can range from mild to severe.

In severe cases, tight frenums are typically noticed in infancy as it can lead to difficulty feeding. In mild to moderate cases, tight frenums may not be noticed/treated and can lead to problems into adulthood. A person may have just one or several tight frenums. 

What is a frenectomy?

Thankfully, the treatment procedure for a tight frenum, called a frenectomy, is relatively easy and pain-free. Both labial and lingual frenums can be altered using the frenectomy procedure. A scalpel or a laser is used to cut back the tissue, releasing it to increase the mobility of the lips and tongue. Healing time, whether for infants, children, or adults, is minimal, with little to no pain. 

Benefits of a frenectomy 

Benefits of a frenectomy procedure include adequate mobility of the tongue, reduced susceptibility to gum recession, reduced speech and eating problems and improved quality of infant feeding. 

If you have any questions about frenums or the frenectomy procedure, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Do You Need A Frenectomy?

Do You Need A Frenectomy?

A frenum is a small attachment of soft tissue that connects two areas of the mouth. The main locations of the frenum are:

  • The tongue to the floor of the mouth.
  • The lower lip to the lower jaw.
  • The upper lip to the upper jaw.

You can view these small tissue patches if you pull your lips out of the way or look underneath your tongue. The frenum under your tongue is called a lingual frenum, and the frenum connecting your lips is called the labial frenum. If these tissues are too large or thick, they can contribute to oral problems and must be addressed. 

Oral conditions associated with large frenum

  • Speech impediment and difficulty pronouncing certain words and sounds 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • A gap between the upper or lower two front teeth 
  • Recession of the gum tissue near the attachment of the frenum 
  • Thin or inadequate gum tissue near the attachment of the frenum 
  • Snoring and mouth breathing 
  • Inability to extend the tongue 

Frenectomy procedure 

A frenectomy is performed when the frenum tissue needs to be cut to prevent pulling on other tissues. It reduces the adverse effects of a large frenum. Frenectomies are recommended in childhood when a large frenum is detected. Frenectomies are usually performed for the “lingual frenum” to prevent a tongue-tie condition and help with the child’s speech. A frenectomy will also be recommended for adults of any age when ill effects of a frenum are noted.

The frenectomy procedure is relatively easy, quick and straightforward. The process is performed under local anesthetic and the recovery time is just a day or two. The procedure may be slightly more complicated if the patient is young and it is to correct the lingual frenum. Some stitches may or may not need to be placed at the frenectomy site. 

If you believe you or your child may have a large or tight frenum and may benefit from a frenectomy, or if you have any questions about the procedure, we encourage you to contact us to book an appointment

Treat A Tongue Tie With Frenectomy Treatment

Treat A Tongue Tie With Frenectomy Treatment

Before we speak about treating tongue ties, it is important to understand the frenums’ role in the mouth.

What Is A Frenum?

A frenum connects tissue in the mouth. There are several frenums, but we will focus on the three largest frenums. The maxillary frenum connects gum tissue with the upper lip and is located between the top two front teeth. Attaching the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is the lingual frenum. Finally, the mandibular frenum connects the lower lip and gums with an attachment between the two bottom front teeth. Frenum tissue can range in thickness. Thick frenums may cause issues with speaking, eating and the position of teeth.

Potential Issues With Large Frenums 

  • Gap or space between the two front teeth where it attaches
  • May restrict movement of the tongue, which affects speaking and pronunciation
  • Can exert a pull on the gums, leading to gum recession


Frenectomy Benefits

  • May reduce risk of injury
  • Lowers the risk of gum recession caused by frenum attachment
  • It may help close or reduce the gap between teeth
  • Better range of motion for the tongue, usually resulting in easier speech

Which Type Of Treatment Is Used? 

A frenectomy is a standard and straightforward surgical procedure that eliminates or reduces the unwanted effects of an oversized frenum. The procedure reduces or stops unwanted stress caused to connected tissues in the mouth. One example is reducing the frenum’s attachment to the floor of the mouth and the tongue. This improves the tongue’s range of motion, allowing for more straightforward speech and pronunciation.

What Is The Procedure Like?

The tissue will be partially cut during the frenectomy procedure once a local anesthetic is applied to the affected area to reduce discomfort. A traditional scalpel may be used, or your dentist may use a laser. Our office uses a special NV microlaser. Using this type of laser has the added benefit of being able to coagulate, cauterize and sterilize. Some patients can have this procedure using local anesthetic in some cases, and they report fast healing times. Since the procedure is quick and straightforward, it can be performed at any age.

Do you think that you or your child could benefit from a frenectomy? Have any questions about the procedure? Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or consultation.