A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing.
What is a frenectomy used for?
There are people with large frenums beneath their tongues. This prevents their tongue to move freely. This will interfere with their speech. The condition of limited tongue mobility is referred to as ankyloglossia or “tongue tie”. Lingual frenectomy will remove the fold of tissue so that the tongue can move freely once again.
There are times where the frenum is attached between the two upper front teeth. In order to remove it, a procedure called a labial frenectomy is performed. This condition is usually seen in children after their permanent upper front teeth have erupted in their mouths. It may also be seen earlier. Sometimes it can be spotted before the baby teeth have come in. If the tissue is attached too far down on the gum then space may be created between the two front teeth. Even if an orthodontist closes this gap, the frenum can still push the teeth apart once more. The frenum can also be attached in such a way that the baby teeth can not erupt into the mouth. If this is the case, then you will notice the abnormal frenum sooner.
Adults who are getting dentures may need a frenectomy as the position of the frenum interferes with the way the denture will fit. Sometimes this will happen between the cheek and the gum in the back of the mouth or in the middle of the lower lip and the upper lip.
How is a frenectomy done?
Your surgeon will use a scalpel or a laser to remove the frenum.