What’s a frenectomy?
An easier way to smile, talk, eat, straighten your teeth…
A frenum, or frenulum, is connective tissue that links two parts of the body so they can work better together. It’s a smart piece of anatomical engineering.
But, if the frenum is too long, or too strong, it restricts movement with detrimental effects. With oral frena, these detrimental effects include talking, eating and stripping away your good gum tissues. Orthodontic therapy (straightening the teeth through “braces”) also may be adversely affected. And patients will have a predisposition to future gum recession and periodontal disease.
Fortunately, a frenectomy (removal or repositioning of the frenum) is a simple outpatient procedure, usually performed in early childhood. There are three frena in the mouth that can potentially cause problems:
- Maxillary labial frenum connects the inside of your upper lip to your gums above your two front teeth.
- Mandibular labial frenum, just below your two lower front teeth, connecting the inside of your lower lip to your gums.
- Lingual frenum connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth.
Maxillary Labial Frenectomy
A prominent upper-lip frenum can result in a large gap between the two front teeth. It can cause upper-lip or gum pain and prevent the effective use of braces. A before-and-after video of this procedure is posted below.
Mandibular Labial Frenectomy
A prominent or mal-positioned mandibular frenum can inflame the gum tissue around the lower two front teeth. It can also prevent closure of the gap with braces. A frenectomy helps prevent further tissue damage and clears the way for effective orthodontic treatment. Often, if not caught early, gum recession is inevitable.
Mandibular Lingual Frenectomy
If the lingual frenum extends too far toward to the tip of the tongue, a child can become “tongue-tied.” This is a common cause of speech impediments. Here too, a frenectomy releases the muscle constriction and allows proper tongue movement, and often, improved speech.
Does it hurt?
Fenectomies are generally easy to tolerate with over-the-counter pain medication. And the benefits can last a lifetime. To learn more, contact Dr. Sayed for a consultation. Click here to get started.
This patient treatment video demonstrates the frenectomy procedure.
This patient treatment video shows the dental procedure for a laser frenectomy.
See more educational videos in our Informational Video Gallery.
- Smile Design
- Smile Design: Gingivectomy
- Smile Design: Crown Lengthening
- Causes of Periodontal Disease
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