If it is too large, the attachment between lips and gums or beneath the tongue, known as the frenum, can cause gapped teeth or tongue-tie.
During a frenectomy, a doctor can clip this tissue to ease discomfort and even improve speech for children or adults.
Sound helpful? That’s because it is.
A Range of Oral Health and Speech Benefits
Reduce oral discomfort.
Clipping the frenum that connects your upper or lower lip to the gums can relieve excess pressure and pain.
Realign your bite.
By reducing the dense connective tissue fibers, your doctor can realign your front teeth for a stronger, straighter smile.
Enhance your speech and appetite.
Cutting the frenum beneath the tongue can improve both communication and the ability to eat, as well as allow for the normal expanding growth of the palate.
Is Surgical Intervention the Right Choice?
The prospect of surgery can make any person nervous, especially if your child is the patient. However, a frenectomy is a relatively simple and short procedure. In fact, most patients only need a topical anesthetic to stay comfortable during their appointment.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the earlier in life the surgery is done, the simpler it is. Early intervention can even reduce the risk of the frenum affecting the growth of the jaw and dental development.
At the Appointment
From start to finish, a frenectomy rarely takes longer than a few minutes. The doctor will:
Apply a topical anesthetic to the frenum and surrounding tissue to numb the area.
Gently clip or remove the frenum with scissors, a scalpel, or a laser.
If necessary, the doctor will then close the incision with dissolvable sutures.
To Get a Frenectomy or Not to Get a Frenectomy
There is no alternative to a frenectomy that specifically targets the same issue. While orthodontics alone may be sufficient to treat milder cases of overly large labial frenums, braces can’t offset all the effects. It really comes down to a single choice: to undergo surgery or not. It’s that simple.
A frenectomy is a simple solution to a potentially long-term problem. If you want to learn more about how the surgery can help you or your child, reach out today and set up an appointment.