Your lips, cheeks and tongue are connected to your jawbone with a fold of tissue called the frenum. If the frenum is too long or too short, it may cause problems and should be removed. This procedure is called a frenectomy.
The frenum can be fixed in all stages of life. If an infant’s frenum is too long, it can make it difficult for the baby to breast feed an abnormally attached frenum can prevent baby teeth from properly erupting. Toddlers just learning to speak may get “tongue tied” because the frenum could be too close to the tip of the tongue. Even teens and adults have this problem, and a frenectomy can help them too.
As a child ages, a frenum that is attached too closely to the teeth can cause a gap to form between the teeth. The gap cannot be closed unless the abnormal frenum attachment is surgically removed.
A short or tight frenum will constantly tug on the gum tissue and can cause the tissue to pull away from the tooth, leading to serious gum recession, tooth decay, and also periodontal disease.
Adults who wear a denture, the frenum can pull on the denture and loosen it, which makes wearing the denture extremely uncomfortable.
A frenectomy procedure is performed in the dental office usually with just a local anesthetic, and takes only about 10 or 15 minutes. The frenum can be removed with a scalpel or a laser. If your dentist must suture the area, healing may take a few weeks.
After the frenectomy procedure you will need to rinse with warm salt water that will help keep the area clean. Carefully brush and floss so that the surgical area won’t be disturbed. A week after the stitches are removed in the dental office
A frenectomy is a simple procedure that can keep your smile healthy and your mouth comfortable.