The frenum is a muscle fold that attaches your cheeks, lips and tongue to the jaw bone. In some cases, frenums can impede oral function and tooth growth. Frenectomies can rectify this issue if the frenums are causing an impairment like tongue ties or gapped front teeth. Our team at Pearl Dentistry can perform frenectomies for our patients with aggressive frenum attachments.
Two main areas are affected by frenum attachments: the tongue and under the lips. The frenum under the tongue, the lingual frenum, can result in what is referred to as a tongue tie. In infants, this can affect the child’s ability to breastfeed and may impact speech as they grow older. The frenum under the upper and lower lips is the labial frenum, which can attach too closely to the teeth as a lip tie, resulting in gaps between the front teeth.
Frenectomies for Tongue and LipTies
If a tongue tie is present, it can be difficult for a child to move their tongue naturally. Infants can have trouble latching onto their mother’s breast, making it painful for the mother and often resulting in switching to bottle feeding for nourishment. Tongue ties can also lead to speech issues when the tongue cannot move correctly to make certain sounds.
Lips ties are often found under the upper lip, causing a pronounced gap between the front teeth. This can be an aesthetic issue, but can also result in speech impediments for the child.
Frenectomies are a quick and nearly painless procedure. The area is numbed and sedation is not usually necessary. The muscle fold can be altered in tongue ties to allow free movement of the tongue. For lip ties, removing the aggressive frenum before the permanent teeth come in can prevent gaps from forming between the front teeth.