It’s a term you may have heard before but never knew what it meant. “Frenectomy” is becoming increasingly popular in the dental world, and it’s important to understand the basics of this procedure if you’re considering it. A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that involves the removal of a band of tissue (called the frenum) that connects your upper or lower jaw to your gums. It can provide relief from pain, discomfort, and even speech impediments caused by an overgrowth of this tissue. In this blog post, we will cover what a frenectomy is, when it is necessary, and how it should be done safely and effectively.
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a frenum, which is a small fold of tissue that anchors the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A frenectomy may be needed if the frenum is too short or too tight, which can cause problems with speech or eating. Frenectomies are usually performed on infants and young children, but they can also be done on adults.
A frenectomy is a procedure to remove a frenum, which is a small fold of tissue that connects the lips, tongue, or cheeks to the gums. A frenectomy may be necessary if the frenum is too short or thick, which can cause problems with eating, speaking, or dental hygiene. There are two types of frenectomies:
1. Lip Frenectomy: This procedure is also called a labial frenectomy. It involves removal of the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums (the maxillary labial frenum). A lip frenectomy may be necessary for babies who have a condition called “tethered oral tissues” (TOT), which can interfere with breast feeding. It may also be recommended for older children and adults who have difficulty moving their lips, trouble sucking on a straw, or an excessive gap between their upper teeth (diastema).
2. Tongue-Tie Frenectomy: This procedure is also called a lingual frenectomy. It involves removal of the tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth (the lingual frenum). A tongue-tie frenectomy may be necessary for babies who have difficulty breastfeeding due to an unusually tight connection between their tongue and lower jaw (ankyloglossia). It may also be recommended for older children and adults who have difficulty moving their tongue or speaking clearly.
3. Cheek Frenectomy: This procedure is also called a buccal frenectomy. It involves removal of the tissue that connects the cheeks to the gums (the buccal frenum). A cheek frenectomy may be necessary for babies who have difficulty breastfeeding due to an unusually tight connection between their cheeks and lower jaw. It may also be recommended for older children and adults who have difficulty moving their cheeks or speaking clearly.
4. Gingival Frenectomy: This procedure is also called a gingivectomy. It involves removal of excessive gum tissue, which can interfere with dental hygiene or cause gummy smiles. A gingival frenectomy may be recommended for older children and adults who have difficulty brushing their teeth properly or have an excessive display of gum tissue when they smile.
Regardless of the type of frenectomy, the procedure is relatively straightforward and can usually be done quickly in a dental office with local anesthesia.
There are a fewPros and Cons of a Frenectomy. First, let’s start with the pros:
1. A frenectomy can prevent gum disease and tooth loss. When the frenulum is too short, it can pull on the gums and cause them to recede. This exposes the roots of the teeth and makes them more susceptible to decay and infection. By getting a frenectomy, you can help keep your teeth healthy and avoid gum disease.
2. A frenectomy can improve speech. If your tongue is tethered by a short frenulum, it can interfere with your ability to make certain sounds correctly when you speak. This can lead to a lisp or other speech problems. A frenectomy can loosen the tether and help improve your speech.
3. A frenectomy can improve eating and drinking. If your tongue is restricted by a tight frenulum, it can make it difficult to eat and drink properly. This can lead to choking or difficulty swallowing. Getting a frenectomy can help improve your ability to eat and drink normally.
Now for the cons:
1. There is a risk of bleeding and infection after the procedure. As with any surgery, there is always a risk of bleeding and infection after a frenectomy. Be sure to follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the area after the surgery to minimize these risks.
2. There is a risk of damage to nearby teeth or structures. During the procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will need to use a sharp tool to cut the frenulum. If they are not careful, there is a risk of accidentally cutting too deeply and damaging nearby teeth or structures.
3. There may be some discomfort after the procedure. A frenectomy can cause some soreness and swelling in your mouth afterward. This usually goes away within a few days, but you may experience some discomfort while it heals.
Overall, a frenectomy can be an effective way to improve your dental health, speech, and ability to eat and drink properly. However, there are risks involved with any surgery, so it’s important to discuss all of your options with your dentist or oral surgeon before making a decision.
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure to remove a piece of tissue (frenum) that is attached to the gum. This can be done to improve the function and/or appearance of your teeth and gums.
The frenum can be located in the middle of the upper lip (maxillary frenum), or under the tongue (lingual frenum). A frenectomy may be recommended if you have a gum condition called gingival recession, which can occur when the frenum pulls too hard on the gums and causes them to recede. Recession can also occur from bruxism (teeth grinding) or from chewing on hard objects.
A frenectomy may also be recommended if you have an overly large or thick frenum that is impedeing proper function of your tongue, lips, or teeth. This can lead to problems with speech, eating, or oral hygiene. In some cases, a Frenectomy may be done as part of orthodontic treatment to help the teeth align properly.
The procedure is typically performed by a periodontist, oral surgeon, or dentist. It is usually done in an office setting using local anesthesia. The tissue will be cut with a scalpel and sutures may be placed to close the wound. Recovery time is typically short, and you should be able to return to your normal activities within a few days.
The average recovery time for a frenectomy is approximately two weeks. During this time, it is important to keep the area clean and free of debris. It is also important to avoid strenuous activity or contact sports as this can cause further damage to the area. Once the area has healed, you should be able to resume your normal activities without any restrictions.
There are a few alternatives to a frenectomy that can be used in certain cases. One alternative is to do nothing and just leave the frenulum as is. This is often an option for babies and young children who have a mild case of tongue-tie. The other alternatives involve releasing the frenulum surgically. This can be done with either lasers or traditional surgery. Each method has its own set of risks and benefits that should be discussed with your child’s dentist or orthodontist before making a decision.
In this article, we explored the basics of dental frenectomies, including what a frenectomy is and when it might be necessary. We discussed why dentists may recommend performing a procedure to remove or loosen the frenum in order to correct problems that can arise from having an overly tight one. A proper evaluation by your dentist will determine if you require a dental frenectomy so that you can have improved oral health and function.