The mouth and its many components work together to allow us to chew, swallow and speak. Sometimes, however, people are born with a frenulum that’s too big or too tight. This flaw can cause problems eating and speaking, as well as hinder future orthodontic treatment.
Mouths have multiple frena (the plural of frenum); the two main ones are the lingual and the labial. The lingual is a band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The labial is above the two front teeth, between the gums and inner lip. An oral surgeon can perform a frenectomy.
The office of Bellevue Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery has superior expertise in all aspects of oral surgery. We understand the complexities of the human body and how all of its elements work together to enable the body to operate at its best.
The oral surgeon makes an incision or snips the misshapen frenulum. A lingual frenectomy increases a tongue’s range of motion; a labial frenectomy helps close a gap between two teeth.
Frenectomies are usually done on infants with breastfeeding problems or if the condition would eventually impede their speech. Adults might also need a frenectomy if a frenum is so tight that it causes gum recession, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems.
Infants can undergo frenectomies with little discomfort and when they’re just a few weeks old. The frenulum is removed with scissors and takes a few minutes. For older children and adults, the oral surgeon provides a local anesthesia and then removes or modifies the frenum with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Some incisions require stitches. The whole thing takes about a half-hour.
Infants recover quickly and can start breastfeeding right away. Older children and adults can return to school or work after one day, but full recovery takes three to five days, and they may need pain relievers.
Bellevue Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery’s mission is to cure or alleviate any discomfort that can be treated by oral surgery. Every patient is unique, and an individual’s treatment preferences vary. Our goal is to offer a clear picture of all your options and deliver the results you expect. For more information about our services, please call us today.
By Bellevue Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
July 27, 2022