Most of us have what is called a frenum, or frenulum. A frenum is a muscular tissue found between your teeth, lip, and underneath your tongue. The frenum that is more commonly seen to cause issues is the lingual frenum. It connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Some people are born with a lingual frenum that runs all the way up to the tip of their tongue, also known as a tongue tie.
About the Frenectomy Procedure
Frenectomy is a relatively short, low-risk procedure that aims to remove unnecessary frenum from the mouth. Having a frenum reduced in size for better oral health can happen at any age. It is only performed when the frenum causes problems in the mouth. This procedure may be necessary when certain issue arises when the frenum:
- Prevents the tongue from moving freely
- Gets caught between the upper front teeth and causes a gap
- May pull gums away from the teeth, causing receding gums, and make the gums susceptible to infection and bone or tooth loss
- Can expand the space between teeth, causing a gap
- May need to be removed to ensure a quality fit for braces and dentures
There are two kinds of frenum:
The labial frenum refers to the muscle tissue that attaches the inside of the upper part of the lip to the gums between the two upper front teeth. The labial frenum can cause a gap between the two front teeth. However, if frenectomy isn’t enough to close the gap then braces may need to be administered.
The lingual Frenum connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The problem occurs when the frenum is connected all the way to the end of the tongue, also known as ‘tongue-tied.’ Problems that arise from a connected frenum or being ‘tongue-tied’:
- Pain in jaw
- Harder to brush and floss
- Difficulties eating and speaking properly
- Older patients may have difficulties keeping dentures in place
- Higher risk of inflammed or irritated gums