At Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to provide the best, most comprehensive dental care available for every Charlotte, NC, child. One of the procedures that we are proud to offer in our practice are frenectomies—a specialized treatment to remove the frenulum.
Below, we would like to discuss what a frenectomy is and how this procedure can benefit your child. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is A Frenectomy?
Before committing your child to a frenectomy procedure, it is important to first understand what this treatment entails. A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that involves the severance of the frenulum, or the band of tissue connecting the lip or tongue to the inner part of the mouth.
You can easily spot your own frenulum by looking in the mirror.
Why Is A Frenectomy Performed?
A frenectomy may be recommended to improve the function of the mouth and even preserve the health of the teeth. The procedure can be used to treat a wide variety of issues, including:
- Tongue tie (ankyloglossia): The normal function of the lingual frenulum is to attach the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When it is too tight, this can prevent proper movement of the tongue. A tongue tie occurs when the frenulum restricts the movement of the tongue, preventing the child from being able to stick out their tongue, speak properly, or nurse effectively.
- Lip tie: The lingual frenulum normally serves the purpose of connecting the lip to the inner portion of the mouth. When it is too tight, this can restrict the movement of the lips and affect a child’s speech or cause difficulty drinking from a bottle or nursing.
- Gapped teeth: When the labial frenulum on the upper lip extends to low on the gums, this can cause the teeth to develop with a gap centered between the two front teeth. This is known as a diastema.
- Gum recession: If the labial frenulum is too short, it can pull on the gum line and cause the tissue to recess.
What Happens During A Frenectomy?
Now that you know more about the frenulum and why this procedure can be important for your child’s oral health, you may be wondering what happens during a frenectomy.