There are multiple frenums noted in the mouth. They are soft tissue connections that attach your gum to your cheek, tongue, or other soft tissues in the mouth. The most prominent frenums are the lingual and maxillary labial ones. The maxillary labial frenum connects from the gum tissue in between the maxillary central incisors (upper front middle teeth) to the upper lip. If the attachment descends to the gum line or gingival margin, it can cause separation of the middle front teeth to a diastema. A frenectomy may need to be completed before or after orthodontic therapy if there is a prominent frenum. This tissue is removed and repositioned to a level further away from the gum line. This procedure can be accomplished with a laser or a blade. Your periodontist will discuss the best option for you at your dental consultation appointment.
The labial frenum connects from the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If this connection is too tight, it can inhibit normal movements of the tongue and cause speech impediments. Infants may require a frenectomy if they are having trouble latching during breastfeeding. Again, you can discuss with your periodontist if a frenectomy is a good treatment option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
A frenectomy is a basic oral surgical procedure, performed in our office, that removes a frenum from the mouth. A frenum is a small muscular attachment that connects two pieces of oral tissue.
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure to loosen or release these bands. A periodontist typically performs a frenectomy to increase the range of motion of the tongue (removing the lingual frenum) or to close a gap in a patient's upper front teeth (removing the labial frenum).
You will be numbed with local anesthetic so there should be no pain during the frenectomy procedure.
When a frenectomy is indicated, the timing should be agreed between the orthodontist and surgeon. The frenectomy may be undertaken when the incisor teeth are orthodontically aligned and space closure is imminent or partial space closure has been undertaken, ie during orthodontic treatment.