A frenectomy is an oral surgical procedure performed to correct the unhealthy shape, size or position of the frenum muscle tissue which connects the tongue, lips and cheeks to the jaw bone. When the frenum is abnormally formed and positioned, such as along the gums or tongue, it may impact teeth alignment and restrict tongue and lip movement for communication.
Defining the Frenum
Frenum is the medical term used to describe the soft muscle connective tissue found in the mouth, digestive tract, external genitalia and brain.
Frenectomy Oral Surgery Procedures in Dentistry
Frenectomy surgery serves varied purposes in dentistry to restore frenum condition for healthy oral function. Typical dentistry treatments requiring a frenectomy include:
Frenectomy surgery secures dentures for better retention if the frenum is the cause of loose fitting dentures. A prominent frenum dislodges dentures with lip movement. Frenectomy surgery reshapes and repositions the frenum to prevent denture pulling and shifting.
- Tongue Clipping
The frenum tissue or lingual frenum is found under the tongue, and if attached too close to the tongue tip, may impede speech and impact healthy dental development. Sometimes referred to as being ‘tongue tied’, the condition may be identified early in children. A Lingual Frenectomy or ‘tongue clipping’ removes this frenum tissue from below the tongue for unrestricted tongue movement, proper dental development and normal speech.
An abnormal oral frenum may be attached and extend above the gums, causing the gums to recede and irregular teeth spacing to develop. Commonly seen between the two top front teeth, a prominent frenum or labial frenum may be removed through labial frenectomy before orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign is used to return teeth spacing and alignment to normal.