A frenectomy is simply the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenectomy is also called a frenulectomy. A frenum, or frenulum, is a fold of tissue that passes from the movable lip or cheek to the gum. Multiple frenums exist within the mouth. The most prominent frenums are in the front of the upper and lower teeth.
A frenectomy is commonly completed with a laser. The laser frenectomy has minimal pain, no sutures, and is a simple and short procedure. If the frenum is thick and heavy, then a more traditional approach is used, which also has minimal pain but requires a few tiny stitches. A review article on different surgical techniques is available.
A frenum may contribute to an open space between teeth. An open space between the two front teeth is called a diastema. Orthodontic (braces) treatment can close the opening, but the diastema may return if a large or heavy frenum is present. A frenectomy will help keep the space closed and prevent relapse or reopening of the area.
A frenum may contribute to gum recession in an area. A frenectomy and soft tissue graft can correct this problem and prevent it from returning.
The lingual frenum behind the lower front teeth may cause a tongue to be bound down to the floor of the mouth, called tongue-tied or ankyloglossia. Tongue-tied can prevent the tongue from moving freely and limiting its movement. A frenum that restricts tongue movement can result in speech problems.
A large frenum may also interfere with a denture fitting correctly, leading to sores. Fortunately, a simple frenectomy can correct this cause of irritation.
Contact IndyPerio today to make an appointment and find out more about laser frenectomy.