I NEED A WHAT? A FRENECTOMY?
I didn’t even know that I had a “frenum,” so imagine my surprise when I was told that we had to “fix it” with something called a frenectomy. My first reaction was, “why” followed closely by “will this hurt” and lastly, “how will it impact my life.”
Luckily the doctors at Periodontal Associates laid all my concerns to rest and answered all my questions throughout the entire process. And today I am happier that this simple procedure was introduced to me.
What I learned is that a frenum is a muscular attachment between two muscles and we all have multiple frena (yep… that’s the plural of frenum) in our mouths. Take a look or feel around with your tongue… you have one that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth (the lingual frenum) and one that connects your upper lip to your gums (the maxillary labial frenum).
Sometimes these connections can restrict the normal function of our mouths. Take someone who is tongue-tied for example, like I was. Their lingual frenum actually runs all the way to the tip of the tongue. This can inhibit normal tongue function and can impact eating and speaking.
There are less incidences of pain or interference with the labial frenum. Often it isn’t even noticed until the teeth are formed and your dentist notices a large gap in the front teeth. Even when this is corrected, the gap could return because of the pronounced labial frenum.
Labial frenum can also contribute to gum recession. In the case that the frenum attachment is close to the gum line, the pull on the gum with daily function can result in gum recession and exposure of the tooth root. This can cause dental sensitivity, increase your risk of obtaining root caries, or pose as an esthetic concern.
The correction of any frenum obstruction is called a “frenectomy.” I had a lingual frenectomy, which was a simple procedure that involved a small incision freeing my tongue from the floor of the mouth. The incision was then stitched up. What this did for me, was allow more range of motion for my tongue. Not only was I eating easier, but I was speaking easier.
I would recommend a frenectomy to anyone when they feel pain or if the frenum is impacting the normal function of your tongue.
Talk to a periodontal specialist to understand more about how a frenectomy can have a positive impact on your life.
Contact us today if you need a frenectomy, dental implant or any of our other specialized periodontal procedures.