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For many people the only concern for their oral health is making sure they properly brush and floss, and if they need braces. Most do not think about needing a frenectomy, and even fewer know what a frenectomy is. This dental procedure is performed not only on adults but also on children.

An Ankyloglossia or “Tongue-Tied” patient involving the Lingual Frenum
An Ankyloglossia or “Tongue-Tied” patient involving the Lingual Frenum

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure typically performed under local anesthetic that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth.

There are two types of frena; the lingual frenum and the labial frenum. The lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and if it is connected all the way up to the tip of the tongue it can cause a person to be “tongue-tied”. In infants it can affect their ability to nurse and as they grow older affect their speech. If left untreated until adulthood it can lead to impaired oral hygiene including difficulty brushing and flossing.

A maxillary labial frenum can cause a gap between the upper two front teeth. In small children immediate treatment of this condition is not necessary however, once the permanent teeth have completely grown in it would be an ideal time to look into having this procedure.

A mandibular labial frenum can also be performed as it can lead to food and plaque accumulation as well as chronic inflammation. In many adults both the mandibular and maxillary frenum can affect the proper fitting of dentures and must be removed.

A frenectomy can be performed within thirty minutes in our office using state of the art technology. Once completed there should be little to no issues with the healing process. Your dentist may suggest taking an over the counter anti inflammatory to assist with any discomfort you may have. Brush and floss the area with care as it may be sensitive or have a few stitches in place.

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