Frenectomy is a simple oral surgical procedure that eliminates the presence of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues found inside the cheeks and lips and inside the mouth and gums. There are three kinds of frenum in the mouth, the labial frenum, the lingual frenum, and the less common buccal frenums.
A labial frenum is a muscular tissue that connects the inside of the upper lip to the center of the gums between the two upper front teeth. The presence of this frenum can create a gap between the two upper front teeth and can also cause recession of the gums because of the constant pulling force it exerts on the gums. Furthermore, it can prevent nursing babies from latching thereby causing great difficulty in breastfeeding for both the baby and the mother.
The second kind of frenum is called lingual frenum. It is a muscular tissue that connects the bottom center of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Lingual frenum that extends all the way to the tip of the tongue can sometimes restrict the patient from eating and speaking properly. Problems associated with lingual frenums can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being and overall development. For the newborn child, it can prevent successful breastfeeding thereby affecting both mother and child.
Our dentists are well versed in diagnosing as well as treating problems associated with frenums.
Benefits of Frenectomy
For those patients who need frenectomy procedures, the following results are attainable:
- Reduction in oral discomfort.
- Improvement in facial appearance through the elimination of tooth gap between the two upper front teeth.
- Promotion of self-confidence.
- Enhancement of bite function.
- Stabilization of dentures among denture users.
- Improvement in breastfeeding
- Enhancement of communication and expression of oneself.
- Improvement of appetite because patient can eat properly.
- Improvement in breastfeeding
- Improvement in proper nasal breathing
- Better facial development since the tongue should be sitting against the roof and helps shape the palate to allow more room for teeth and a larger airway
- Less cavities since the tongue will be free to clear food off of the teeth
Babies and Frenectomy
What is a tongue tie on a baby?
A tongue-tie occurs when the string of tissue under your baby's tongue (frenulum), which attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too short. The medical term for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia. In the most severe cases, the tongue is completely fused to the floor of the mouth.
How does tongue tie affect the child's development?
Although it is often overlooked, tongue tie can be an underlying cause of feeding problems that not only affects a child's weight gain, but may lead to many mothers abandoning breastfeeding altogether. Tongue-tie is also often associated with speech disorders, difficulty with nasal breathing, and difficulties with eating.
Your baby may have a tongue tie if he/she...
- Has trouble latching on.
- Has a small gap, causing her to bite or grind when feeding.
- Slips off your breast while feeding.
- Makes clicking noises and/or dribbles during feeds.
- Is unsettled during feeds.
- Needs frequent or very long feeds.
- Is sick (vomit) right after he/she feeds.
Thinking of a frenectomy? Have you seen a lactation consultant yet? Not all breastfeeding concerns are caused by a tongue or lip tie!
If you have not seen a lactation consultant yet, it is imperative that you see one to ensure any other issues that may be making breastfeeding difficult are addressed first. For a list of lactation consultants, click here.
If you have any further questions regarding frenectomy, it is best for you to talk to our dentist. Contact londonFrenectomy@gmail.com. He/she will help you better understand the procedure.
If you are concerned about your baby's ability to breastfeed and would like a consultation with our dentists, please complete the Breastfeeding Intake Form.