An oral frenum or frenulum is a fold of tissue attaching either the tongue to the lower jaw (the lingual frenum), the upper lip to the front teeth (labial frenum), or the cheek tissue to the back teeth (buccal frenum). This frenum prevents the tongue, lip, and cheek respectively from moving very far. These frenums can also pose problems such as speech impediments, gum recession and plaque accumulation due to sensitivity of the area or lack of access to these areas. A frenectomy (also known as frenulectomy) is a procedure where the frenum is removed surgically by making a small incision and inserting stitches, allowing the tissues to heal properly.
Indications for a frenectomy procedure are:
- Thick frenum is causing recession
- Thick frenum is causing diastema which is not esthetically pleasing to the patient
- Impeding proper oral hygiene
- Speech impediment due to a tongue-tie (also known as ankyloglossia)
- Impeding proper fit of a denture
- For orthodontic purposes
Additional procedures may need to be performed in conjunction with a frenectomy such as gum grafting or othodontic treatment to achieve optimal results. Dr. Cohen will educate you on all of your options at the first appointment, and ensure all of your questions and concerns have been properly addressed.