A frenum is a fold of tissue or muscle connecting the lips, cheek or tongue to the jawbone. There are several different frenae in the mouth. But there are two primary locations in the mouth where frenum is found – under the tongue (lingual frenum) and underneath the center of the upper lip (labial frenum). The frenum attaches the muscles of the cheeks and lips to the mouth, but in some cases, this tissue may interfere with the development of the mouth. In the event that the tissue, or frenum, is attached to close to the tip of the tongue or too far down the gums between the front teeth, a simple surgical procedure for the removal of one of these folds of tissue is performed. This surgical procedure is called Frenectomy.

The removal of the lingual frenum under the tongue is called a lingual frenectomy. Some people have a large frenum that limits tongue movement and can interfere with speech and proper tooth development. The condition of limited tongue mobility is called ankyloglossia, or tongue tie. A lingual frenectomy is a fairly common procedure for children who may be “tongue tied” and is sometimes referred to as clipping the tongue. Tongue-tie is generally diagnosed in childhood and symptoms include interference with feeding in infants and problems with speech at 12 to 18 months. Some older children or teenagers may notice that the frenum under their tongue becomes stuck between their front teeth, or that they can't stick their tongue out as far as their friends can. After the procedure, the tongue can usually be fully extended and becomes fully mobile.

In the course of periodontal care, cosmetic dentistry procedure like gummy smile or orthodontic treatment for children, a frenectomy procedure is some times necessary. In periodontal therapy, frenectomy is indicated when the frenum exerts tension on the gingival margin and interferes with proper oral hygiene. The labial frenum often attaches to the center of the upper lip and between the upper two front teeth. The frenum can be attached in such a way that it prevents the baby teeth from coming through. This can cause a large gap and gum recession by pulling the gums off of the bone. A labial frenectomy removes the labial frenum. Orthodontic patients often have this procedure done to assist with closing a front tooth gap.

A frenectomy involves just a single visit to the dental office using local anaesthesia. To complete a frenectomy, an oral surgeon or periodontist can use a scalpel or a laser. A laser frenectomy minimizes bleeding, reduces the need for sutures and causes less postoperative pain. If a scalpel is used sutures will be needed after surgery. A hemostat is clamped to the frenum and using a scalpel, the tissue is cut away from the top and bottom of the hemostat. After removal of the tissue, the remaining tissues are sutured to avoid reforming a new frenum. A frenectomy can take several weeks to heal completely. Rinsing with salt water helps keep the area clean. Brush and floss carefully around the area. Depending on the type of stitches your dentist uses, you may need to return to the dentist to have your stitches removed or they may dissolve on their own. The frenectomy procedure usually takes only a half hour to complete.

In the case of older people being fitted for dentures are the most frequent candidates for a frenectomy. When a denture patient's lips move, the frenum pulls and loosens the denture which can be quite upsetting. This surgery is often done to help comfortable dentures fit better. In adults receiving a frenectomy in the lower jaw to correct the fit of dentures, there is a risk of bruising the nerve that provides sensation to the lower lip and chin. This will cause numbness in the area that can last at some level for several months. However, your lip will not droop, as the nerve does not affect movement, only sensation. Most dentists of India Dental Clinics may perform the procedure with prior appointment as dental patients or in your dental tour package to India.

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