A frenectomy sounds a lot scarier than it really is. It's a simple procedure that addresses some oral health problems usually in children, but occasionally in adults. What is it? The frenulum is the connective tissue membrane that attaches one surface of the mouth to another.
The thin tissue that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth, the connective webbing that attaches your lips to the gums above and below the front teeth. So what are the problems that these connections can cause and what are the benefits of a frenectomy? Let's look at a few common issues and what can be done about them.
Some infants are born with their frenulum too short, tight or tough and this can inhibit movement of the mouth. This inhibited movement can cause difficulty with the child nursing or feeding from a bottle. It's commonly called 'tongue-tied' and if left uncorrected can begin having a negative effect on speech development.
Generally, it's ideal to address the problem in early childhood, but occasionally, we do see an adult who has lived with the issue. As an adult, the frenectomy accompanied by some speech therapy exercises can train the patient how to properly use the tongue and improve speech.
In the case of a very young infant, the procedure is the easiest to perform and it can usually just be clipped. In adults, depending on how much of the frenulum is removed or severed, there may be sutures needed.
The frenectomy procedure usually only takes a few moments to complete and the discomfort only lasts for a couple of days. The benefits are usually immediate and while the area needs to be monitored for about a week to make sure that there are no complications.
If you think you or your child may need a frenectomy, give us a call today and schedule a consultation. We are happy to help!
Wauwatosa Dental Group
Location Midwest Dental Wauwatosa 2600 North Mayfair Road Suite 750 Wauwatosa, WI 53226