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
- 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.