A frenulum is a band of connective tissue that connects two areas of the body together. The mouth has multiple frenulums connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth and the lips to the gums. This connective tissue is different for everyone, ranging in size and length.
When a child is born with a frenulum that is too short or too tight, it can cause many issues regarding oral health. This can range from issues with speaking, breastfeeding, and even swallowing. More commonly known as a tongue-tie or lip-tie, the condition of a tight or short frenulum commonly affects infants, though some adults may also qualify for treatment options. The procedure to fix the frenulum is called a frenectomy, and can be done with proficiency by our team of qualified oral surgeons at Elizabeth Oral Surgery Group.
Different Types of Frenectomy Procedures
A frenectomy is used to treat the symptoms of a tight or short frenulum. If gone untreated, common side effects can include limited lip motion, limited tongue motion, trouble speaking, painful swallowing, and gum recession. These problems can escalate into more complex oral health problems, like gum disease, cavities, and diastema.
The two main types of oral frenectomy procedures depend on the placement of the frenulum. They include:
- Lingual frenectomy: When the frenulum connecting your tongue to the bottom of your mouth is short, you are left with limited range of motion. This is informally identified as tongue-tie. A lingual frenectomy procedure removes or modifies the connective tissue to correct the range of motion.
- Labial frenectomy: A lip tie is when the connective tissue between your upper gum and upper lip is too tight or short. This can tug at your gums, causing them to recede and leaving you susceptible to gum disease. Also called a maxillary frenectomy, a labial frenectomy can help correct this.
The purpose of a frenectomy is to free the individual from the restriction and allow them to restore full functionality of their mouth.
How an Oral Surgeon Can Help
An oral surgeon can help identify and diagnose your child’s need for a frenectomy using a professional examination. The actual procedure to fix the issue is fairly quick and can be done simply on infants with little recovery time or discomfort. For infants, an oral surgeon will use surgical scissors to remove or modify the frenulum that is causing the complications. For older adults, the area will likely be numbed and altered with a scalpel or surgical scissors.
The recovery process does not take long, and your surgeon will provide detailed instructions on any foods, drinks, or activities to avoid while your mouth heals. When you have an oral surgeon on your side, you are giving yourself access to a skilled specialist that can help alleviate any stress you may be having about the procedure. They can help talk you through the different steps of the process and discuss the best options for your oral health moving forward.
In Need of a Frenectomy? Consult With a Qualified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Today
Elizabeth Oral Surgery Group has happily serviced the New Jersey community for many years now, providing a state-of-the-art facility, the highest quality technology, and the most up-to-date surgical techniques currently available. Our people-first approach to the world of oral health means you have a resource from the beginning consultation all the way to the end of your procedure. We will even work with insurance companies with you to ensure you are getting the most of your reimbursement as possible.