The frenum is a normal band of tissue that attaches to your lip and tongue. These attachments can be abnormal, causing restriction. Frenectomies involve the removal of the aberrant tissue to relieve this restriction. A frenectomy can help improve oral function, mobility, and overall oral health in both children and adults. In infants, a tongue tie can cause issues with breastfeeding.
If you or your child has a tongue or lip tie, it is helpful to learn who is a good candidate, how they are performed, and what the recovery process is like.
There are two main types of frenectomies with distinct differences: labial frenectomies and lingual frenectomies.
This procedure, also known as a maxillary frenectomy, involves removing the frenum that attaches your upper lip to your gums. A prominent frenum can attach abnormally between your front teeth and cause a gap to form. Your orthodontist may recommend this attachment be removed to avoid the gap from forming again.
A lingual frenectomy involves removing or modifying the frenum that attaches your tongue to the floor of your mouth. This procedure is done to correct mild to severe tongue ties that may be causing discomfort or difficulty eating or speaking. In infants, this procedure may be necessary to allow normal breastfeeding.
When Is a Frenectomy Necessary?
A frenectomy is usually necessary when the tongue or lip tie creates functional or aesthetic concerns. It is often performed on babies who have difficulty breastfeeding.
The frenectomy procedure is relatively atraumatic and quick.
On the day of your procedure, once you are adequately numbed or sedated, the surgeon will make a small incision around the frenum and remove excess tissue. Resorbable sutures are used. In babies, this is usually done swiftly with a numbing gel.
Immediately after the procedure, you should avoid eating or drinking until the anesthesia has worn off completely. It is normal to experience some mild discomfort at that time.
This usually subsides within a few days and can be managed with over-the-counter medications. We will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions and review them with you to ensure proper healing.
It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene during the recovery process to prevent any infections or complications at the incision site. This includes thoroughly brushing your teeth at least two times per day. Use caution when brushing around the incision site.
You’re in Good Hands with Our Doctors
If you think you or your child may be in need of a frenectomy, you can rest easy knowing you are in good hands with our experienced doctors. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will always take the time to answer your questions and explain things clearly. Contact us today to learn more and view our gallery for patient results.