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What is a Frenectomy?

If your child is experiencing certain types of speech, eating, or orthodontic problems, we may recommend a frenectomy. This (Simple?  Quick?)  procedure removes the connective tissue at either the top or the bottom of the mouth, which can help correct these problems. New technologies have made frenectomies a safe and convenient option for patients of all ages. 

 

What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is simply the removal of connective tissue (called the frenum) from under the tongue or the upper gums. In a dental practice, there are two types of routine frenectomies:

 
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Lingual Frenectomy

A lingual frenectomy involves removing the tissue connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Lingual frenectomies are commonly used to correct a condition called Ankyloglossia, (often called “tongue-tie”.

Tongue-tied infants can have issues breastfeeding. It can also impact speech and eating in children and adults. Compensating for this issue can cause orthodontic issues as well.

 
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Maxillary Frenectomy

A maxillary frenectomy involves removing the piece of tissue connecting the upper gums to the front teeth or “lip-tie”. Everyone has this tissue, but sometimes the tissue is excessively large or tight in infants. Newborns with this issue have problems latching and breastfeeding.

In older children and adults, this issue can push the front teeth apart, creating orthodontic problems with permanent teeth.

 
 

How can a Frenectomy Help?

Parents and patients choose frenectomies for a range of reasons, and are not limited to infants and children.

In infants, both lingual and maxillary ties can cause problems with breastfeeding and potentially bottle-feeding. Difficulty latching onto the breast (causing sore nipples on the mother), and excessive gassiness can be a symptom.

Frenectomies can be a solution to eating or speech and orthodontic issues in children and adults.  

Short lingual frenums, may cause patients to push out the lower jaw to make eating or speaking easier – causing pain or an underbite.  A lingual frenectomy may help ensure the success of orthodontic treatment.

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