Frenectomy: Get the Freedom to Eat, Talk and Smile
At Portal Cypress Dentistry, we take pride in giving our patients a life of freedom. This why we have specialized in treatment and correction of elongated, tight, or obtrusive frenums.
Our dental team helps patients who are tongue-tied or lip-tied to enjoy life; eat well and talk freely through our simple, low-risk medical procedure.
Overview of the Frenum
Located below the tongue and between the lips and gums, frenums are a group of tissues that connect different parts of the oral cavity. You can try and feel the frenum by folding your tongue to touch the floor of your mouth or elongating it towards the area below your upper lip.
The frenum is a vital part of our mouth; it enables you to move the tongue freely, anchors the lips and other organs to the jaw, can help in mastication, and does a bunch of other functions.
There are different types of frenum tissues. The tissues are categorized based on their position, use, and size. For instance, some experts use the term “frenulum” to refer to smaller-sized tissues connecting the jaw to the gum. However, as orthodontists specializing in frenum correction and treatment, we are more concerned about the two main types of frenum:
- The lingual frenum – This is the flexible mass of tissue below your tongue.
- The labial frenum – This is the flexible tissue attaching the gum to the inner part of your upper lip.
At Portal Cypress Dentistry, most of the conditions we treat involve these two parts. However, this is not to say that we do not treat or correct other oral cavity conditions. Browse our website for other dental and orthodontic services that we offer.
What Are Frenectomies Used For?
Some people have unusually long, thick or very tight frenums that inhibit the movement of their tongue and affect the overall orthodontically structure. Babies and young kids often suffer from this condition. The good news is that the condition can be corrected through a simple medical procedure referred to as a frenectomy.
Does Your Baby Need a Frenectomy?
Some of the common conditions associated with the frenum include: being tongue-tied, lip-tied, and having gaps in the teeth. How would one know if you or your baby requires a frenectomy?
Lingual Frenum Correction (Being Tongue-Tied)
This is a common condition that affects newborns, toddlers, teenagers and adults alike. It’s not uncommon to find people who have lived with this condition, in its mild form, their entire lives.
Being tongue-tied, or having ankyloglossia, can be caused by a lingual frenum that is too tight, elongated or unusually large in mass. You or your baby needs a frenectomy if you observe the following symptoms:
- Babies have difficulty breastfeeding
- A toddler, teenager or adult has speech problems, i.e., experiences difficulty pronouncing words or letters that require tongue movements such as letters L, H, and N.
- You cannot elongate the tongue beyond the lower teeth
- Difficulty in licking the lips
- Restricted tongue movement
- Adults have problems with French kissing
- Inability to play any sort of wind instrument or whistle
- Inability to roll your tongue
Many times, lingual frenum problems can go unnoticed if the above symptoms are not present. Some lingual frenum problems resolve themselves after a few years or months. However, lingual frenum conditions that are persistent can be corrected with a simple and low-risk operation known as a frenectomy.
Teenagers with severe lingual frenum conditions may suffer ridicule or bullying, especially if they struggle with pronunciation, can’t move their tongue as much as they want, or whistle. Getting a frenectomy done will help your kids avoid some of these social problems.
Portal Cypress Dentistry offers comprehensive, low-risk frenectomies to help patients live freely and enjoy their lives. Here is what one of our customers say:
“My son was born with an enlarged and dense lingual frenum that went unnoticed for years”, remarks one patient. “It wasn’t until he was into his early teens that we started noticing that he couldn’t stick his tongue out like other children. He also suffered frequent cuts to his tongue as it often got caught between his incisors. It wasn’t until we had him checked by an orthodontist that we discovered this easily treatable condition”.
Labial Frenectomy (For Lip Ties)
Upper labial conditions are often caused by a tight or short frenum below the upper lip. This condition is common across all age groups.
Labial frenum problems exhibit observable conditions, such as a fleshy or dense frenal attachment that may result in an unattractive appearance or unnatural diastema.
People with an upper labial condition may have difficulty keeping their mouth closed, or experience pain while brushing their upper gum. The tension caused by a tight upper labial frenum also leads to open mouth feeding or breathing due to the habit over a long period. Babies might also find it difficult to hold on to the breast while breastfeeding or breathing with their nose.
Some labial frenectomies, especially among adults, can be done for aesthetic purposes. Having an extended labial frenum makes it hard to wear braces or get some teeth correction procedures done. Some people choose frenectomy if they dislike the appearance of their upper lip or want to move or close their lips more freely.
How Is a Frenectomy Done?
A frenectomy is a simple surgery that is normally carried out using scalpels or lasers. The procedure involves removing parts of the frenum or correcting tight or dense tissue in the oral cavity. Frenectomies usually takes a very short time to complete and don’t require much equipment or procedures.
Most patients that visit Portal Cypress Dentistry prefer laser frenectomy as it does not require anesthetics. The procedure is also more accurate and affected tissues take less time to heal.
Are Frenectomies Painful or Dangerous?
Frenectomies are often painless and straightforward, especially when laser treatment is used. A frenectomy is generally a low-risk procedure.
Would you like to have a frenectomy done for you or your baby? We offer consultation, full examination, expert diagnosis and on-demand treatment for all frenum conditions. Talk to us. Get a frenectomy today and live a free, enjoyable life.