In the mouth, there are two frenula that attach the lip and tongue to the mouth. Under the tongue, the lingual frenulum attaches the bottom of the tongue to the base of the mouth. Under the top lip, the labial frenulum attaches the lip to the gum. When these muscle bands are too wide or too short, they can cause issues with tongue/lip movement or tooth growth. At Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists, we offer frenectomy procedures to change the size or length of a frenulum for optimum oral function.
A short lingual frenulum can impact a child’s ability to speak, swallow and eat. When the tongue cannot move freely, it can make many functions difficult. A frenectomy is often performed when a child is an infant to facilitate their ability to breastfeed, or as a toddler to help them form words correctly. The frenulum is removed or reduced to allow normal tongue movement. The procedure only takes a few minutes using local anesthesia and recovery is quick.
The frenulum that attaches the top lip to the gum can grow too wide and create a gap between the two front teeth. Since the lip is pulled down, it can also cause limitations in lip movement in infants, making it difficult for them to breastfeed. A frenectomy can reduce the appearance of a gap in the teeth that can cause orthodontic issues when the permanent teeth come in. It can also allow for normal lip movement so infants can properly nurse. The procedure only takes about 10 to 15 minutes using local anesthesia.
Most frenectomies are performed on young children, but they can be done at any age. To learn more about this procedure or to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgery specialists, contact Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists today.