Frenum and Frenectomy: All You Should Know

Frenum and Frenectomy: All You Should Know

The mouth is a large organ of the body that consists of different small and big parts. All the parts work together to ensure optimal functionality of the mouth for activities such as chewing, swallowing, yawning, tasting, and talking, to mention a few. The different parts of the mouth support a unique role to complement the overall function of the mouth. The parts range from different types of teeth, tongue, tonsils, and the frenulum, among others.

What Is a Frenum?

A frenum is a part of the mouth that helps control the movements of the tongue and any other mobile organ in the mouth. This ensures that the different movable parts of the mouth do not stretch out too far. The frenum is located in different parts of the mouth, including on the floor of the mouth, the upper arch of the roof of the mouth, inside the upper lip, and inside the lower lip.

The frenum soft tissues are necessary elements of the mouth’s composition. However, in some cases, the frenum can be restrictive to the tongue, causing difficulty in speech. It is a condition commonly known as ‘tongue-tied.’

What Is Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is an oral surgical procedure that corrects the malfunction and anomalies with the frenum. A frenectomy dental will work on a patient’s mouth to loosen the frenum tissues and be less restrictive. When they are very tight, the motions of the tongue are not as flexible as they should be. Loosening them allows the tongue to move around a lot better than before.

Frenectomy surgical procedure is performed in different ways. Some of the ways involve scalpel use, electrosurgery, or laser surgery. Laser frenectomy is increasing in popularity because of its ability to offer meticulous results. Besides, very little damage is done to surrounding tissues when laser surgery is performed. The frenectomy before and after results are evident from the flexibility of the tongue, especially during the speech.

Different Types of Frenectomy

The types of frenectomy differ depending on which frenum has to be loosened. When you talk to your dentist, he/she will examine your oral status to establish which frenum is causing the complications you have. At this, one of the following types of frenectomy will be performed:

  • Labial frenectomy – in the upper arch of the mouth, there is a frenum tissue. It connects the gums to the lips of the mouth. This tissue is referred to as the labial frenum. This part poses orthodontic risks to teeth, as well as oral hygiene problems to the front teeth. Such problems occur when the labial frenum extends too close to the gums of the front teeth. The tissue can bring problems of poor spacing and growth of the front teeth. A surgical procedure done to loosen the labial frenum is, therefore, called a labial frenectomy, or frenectomy of the lips.
  • Lingual frenectomy – the lingual frenum is the connective tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This tissue controls how far up the tongue can go. The size of the lingual frenum varies from person to another, as much as its flexibility does. When children have a very restrictive lingual frenum, they can have difficulties in nursing and, in time, speech. This can result in other problems such as malnourishment for the child. Parents that are lucky enough to detect the issues early can have the procedure done before too much damage is done. A lingual frenectomy is a small procedure done to loosen the tissue and allow more flexibility to the tongue. The surgery can be performed as early as the first weeks of infancy.

What Happens After a Frenectomy?

People worry at the mention of getting surgery. However, it is different from frenectomy. A frenectomy is a small oral procedure that is not very painful. In fact, most patients may not require any recovery time. The slight soreness has even been likened to a “pizza burn.” The dentist will recommend a mouthwash that will help kill any harmful bacteria in your mouth to prevent an infection in the treated area.

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