Frenectomy is a simple oral surgical procedure that eliminates the presence of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues found inside of the cheeks and lips and inside the mouth and gums. There are two kinds of frenum in the mouth, the labial frenum and the lingual frenum.
A labial frenum is a muscular tissue that connects the inside of the upper lip to the centre of the gums between the two upper front teeth. The presence of this frenum creates a large gap between the two upper front teeth and can also cause recession of the gums by drawing the gums off the jaw bone. Usually, dentists will advise their patients to wait for the growth of their two permanent upper front teeth before considering the treatment for labial frenum. It is because there are cases where the gap between the upper front teeth is eliminated during the growth of permanent teeth. However, if this is not possible, braces are used to correct the gap. Labial frenectomy is only performed if the braces are unable to correct the large gaps caused by labial frenum. In some cases where the presence of labial frenum can cause pain to the upper lip and gums in younger children, labial frenectomy is performed.
The second kind of frenum is called lingual frenum. It is a muscular tissue that connects the bottom centre of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Lingual frenum that extends all the way to the tip of the tongue can sometimes restrict the patient from eating and speaking properly. This condition is also called ‘tongue tied’. Lingual frenectomy is only performed if the presence of frenum prevents the child from eating and speaking properly.
Benefits of Frenectomy
Patients who have undergone frenectomy have experienced better quality of life.
• It reduces oral discomfort.
• It improves facial appearance through the elimination of tooth gap between the two upper front teeth.
• It promotes self-confidence.
• It enhances bite function.
• It stabilizes dentures among denture users.