What is a Frenectomy?

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.

An Ankyloglossia or "Tongue-Tied" patient

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

There are two types of frena; the lingual frenum and the labial frenum.

  • Lingual Frenum – connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If the lingual frenum is connected all the way up to the tip of the tongue it can cause a person to be “tongue-tied”. Being “tongue-tied” is a condition known clinically as Ankyloglossia. 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.
  • Labial Frenum –  there are two types of Labial Frenum – the maxillary and mandibular labial frenum.
    • 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 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.

What Can I Expect?

After a consulting with one of our experienced dentists, a frenectomy procedure can be scheduled. The procedure itself can be performed within thirty minutes in our office using state of the art technology. Our main goal with patient frenectomies is always to minimize discomfort for the patient and ensure healing after the procedure is smooth and comfortable.  Our dentist may suggest patients take an over the counter anti inflammatory to assist with any possible post-operative discomfort. We will also suggest patients brush and floss the area with care as it may be sensitive or have a few stitches in place.