A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing.
What is a frenectomy used for?
There are people with large frenums beneath their tongues. This prevents their tongue to move freely. This will interfere with their speech. The condition of limited tongue mobility is referred to as ankyloglossia or “tongue tie”. Lingual frenectomy will remove the fold of tissue so that the tongue can move freely once again. There are several periods during childhood where you can notice symptoms of ankyloglossia like:
- as infants, tongue tie will interfere with feeding although this is very uncommon
- when your child starts to talk at twelve to eighteen months, you may notice that they are having a hard time talking
- older children and teenagers may notice that the frenum under their tongues gets stuck in between their teeth
- children may notice that they can not stick their tongue out as far as their peers could
- your dentist may see that the frenum is pulling the child’s gum tissue away from the lower front teeth and it is already causing periodontal trouble
Adults who are getting dentures may need a frenectomy as the position of the frenum interferes with the way the denture will fit. Sometimes this will happen between the cheek and the gum in the back of the mouth or in the middle of the lower lip and the upper lip.