A frenum is a little piece of tissue in the mouth that runs from the lips and the cheeks to the gums. The frenum you’re probably most familiar with is the one that extends from the gums above your front teeth to your upper lip, known as the labial frenum. The lingual frenum is the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the mouth to the underside of the tongue. While normally you barely even register your frena and they do not cause problems, sometimes, if they’re elongated or the tissue is thick and tight, it can create issues.
For example, an elongated labial frenum can cause spacing between the upper front teeth or even cause the teeth to separate again after orthodontic treatment. It may also interfere with the fit of dentures or other appliances and lead to gum recession. A tight lingual frenum creates what’s known as a tongue-tie causing feeding difficulties in babies and, eventually, speech problems.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure where Dr. Miller uses an incision to loosen or remove the frenum. The procedure only takes a few minutes and is done under local anesthetic though sedation is sometimes used, especially in young patients. After a labial frenectomy, an orthodontist will be able to close the gap between the teeth without excess tissue getting in the way. A lingual frenectomy will allow the tongue to move freely.
Benefits of a Frenectomy
01. Simple Procedure
The procedure only takes a few minutes and healing time is fairly quick.
02. Eliminates Tongue-Ties
By eliminating tongue-ties, it can improve a child’s speech or a baby’s ability to latch.
03. Prevents Spacing
A frenectomy to remove the excess tissue between the top front teeth will prevent a gap from forming.
Frenectomies are safe for patients of all ages, including infants. Dr. Miller will examine you or your child and determine if a frenectomy is the right approach for your oral health needs. To learn more or see if you or your little one could benefit from a frenectomy in Birmingham at our practice, schedule a visit today by giving us a call at (205) 789-5075.
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