A frenectomy is any procedure in which binding tissue is cut or altered, but most often refers to the oral procedure involving the frenum. The frenum is the piece of soft tissue connecting the lips and gums. If it’s too short, it can interfere with speech, swallowing or other related issues. A frenectomy rectifies the situation.
The maxillary frenectomy involves the labial frenum—the piece of tissue connecting your top lip to your gums and can hinder speech development if it’s too short. It also may be done when the labial frenum is so tight that it is pulling your gums down, causing recession.
The lingual frenectomy involves the lingual frenum—the piece of tissue connecting your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. A short lingual frenum restricts movement of the tongue.
Frenectomies are often performed on infants if they’re having trouble breastfeeding due to a short frenum, also known as being “tongue tied,” which can lead to slow weight gain and development.
Whether a maxillary frenectomy or lingual frenectomy, the procedure is similar and very quick, usually requiring no more than 15 minutes.
- You’ll be secured lying face up. If your child is having the procedure done, you may need to hold him or her.
- We’ll give you a topical anesthetic.
- We’ll quickly snip the frenum using a laser.
- If the situation calls for it, you may need a few stitches.
Recovering from a frenectomy is about as simple as can be. Essentially, wait a week or so for it to heal. Keep it clean, continue maintaining good oral health, limit the foods you eat for a few days afterward (you don’t want anything getting caught in the area) and, it’s worth repeating, keep it clean.
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