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What You Need to Know About Oral Frenectomies
What is a frenectomy?
A frenectomy, also known as a frenotomy, can refer to any procedure where binding tissue on the body is cut or modified.
Frenectomy procedures are quite common, especially during the infant stage of life. Genital frenectomies, such as circumcision, for example, happen frequently in the United States.
Most of the time, however, the term refers to an oral procedure meant to resolve a tongue tie or a lip tie.
In your mouth, the “frenum” refers to a piece of soft tissue connected to the lips and gums. If the frenum is too short or too tight, it can interfere with breastfeeding, swallowing, or speech development.
The lingual frenum connects your tongue to your mouth. If you touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, you can probably feel the lingual frenum stretching underneath your tongue.
The length of the lingual frenum varies from person to person. In some cases, people are born with a lingual frenum that’s very short. This shortened frenum restricts the movement of the tongue.
This condition is called ankyloglossia, or “tongue tie.” Tongue tie occurs in nearly 5 percentTrusted Source of infants. It’s more common in boys than in girls.
Tongue tie can interfere with breastfeeding during the infant years and speech development as a child grows older.
A quick procedure called a lingual frenectomy can give the tongue a greater range of motion.
The labial frenum connects your top lip to the gum area right above your front teeth.
If this frenum is shorter than average, it can cause difficulty in speech development. This condition is a type of lip adhesion.
A lip adhesion can also pose a problem with dental development and make it hard to fully clean the gums and front teeth. This raises the risk of gum disease and other dental complications.
A maxillary frenectomy can give the upper lip more mobility.