Frenectomies — What Are They?

Frenectomies — What Are They?

Mar 05, 2020

Many people believe their oral health will receive the attention it deserves when they brush and floss properly or visit an orthodontist to understand whether they need braces. Most people aren’t aware of what a frenectomy is or whether they need the procedure themselves. This is a dental procedure performed not only on adults but also on children.

Frenectomies are medical procedures commonly performed under local anesthesia to separate or slacken a band of muscle tissue that is connecting to the lip, cheek, or floor of the mouth.

Types of Frenum in the Mouth

Two to types of frenum exist in the mouth

Lingual Frenum

This is the variety that connects the base of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When this frenum is tight it is known as a tongue-tie. With this occurrence, the movement of the tongue in the mouth is affected making it difficult for the baby to nurse sufficiently.

Labial Frenum

This variety is located in the front of the mouth between the upper lip and gum or the lower left and lower gum. When problems with a labial frenum are associated alterations may be noticed and the growth of the teeth perfectly your dental health when it pulls the gums away from the tooth to expose the root.

If one or more frenums are affecting the normal use of the mouth or are tearing repeatedly surgical removal may be recommended by an oral surgeon or a pediatric dentist in Pearland, TX. A surgery of this type is known as a frenectomy.

Are Frenectomies for Nursing Babies Recommended?

Nursing babies with a short lingual frenum or a short labial frenum generally have a problem latching on to the breast for effective feeding. In such cases, they do not get an adequate supply of milk while causing persistent soreness and pain in the maternal nipple which combined together can affect feeding adversely. The babies may experience slow or no weight gain, frustration during feeding or refusal to feed altogether. When the infant is observed to have problems feeding, becomes tired during the feeding, is out of breath and has inadequate weight gain and is also causing considerable discomfort to the mother a problem known as tongue-tie may be considered.

The pediatric dentist near you will often recommend a procedure known as frenectomy to treat the short frenulum which requires cutting or clipping of the tissue to release the tongue or lip. Frenectomies in Pearland, TX, are performed by Dr. Reha E Radford at Radford Dental after evaluating the baby to determine if a frenectomy will indeed be beneficial and appropriate. These are in-office procedures that are conducted with the use of surgical soft tissue lasers. The use of lasers enables the procedure to be completed with little or no bleeding. The baby will not require any sutures in the mouth as Dr. Radford ensures little or no bleeding takes place.

What Are the Conditions Associated with Abnormalities with the Frenum

The job of the frenum is to provide the upper lip, lower lip, and tongue the stability they need in the mouth. The abnormal growth of the frenum can cause several developmental issues within the mouth. Some conditions that may be experienced with problems with a frenum include the following:

  • Discomfort while swallowing.
  • Frenum tear.
  • Issues with nursing because of tongue-tie and lip tie in nursing babies.
  • Trouble extending the tongue fully.
  • Disruption of the normal development of the front upper two teeth leaving a gap between them.
  • Snoring and breathing with the mouth because of the abnormalities in the development of the jaw caused by the abnormal growth of the frenum.
  • Pulling gum tissue away from the base of the teeth to expose the tooth root.

Some issues with surgical techniques can also cause frenum abnormalities and therefore it is important for an oral surgeon to be accurate when cutting the soft tissue in the mouth. Frenum abnormalities can be caused by irregularities and a lasting problem with the teeth, gums, and mouth.

What Can Be Expected during Frenectomies in Pearland, TX?

An oral surgeon or a pediatric dentist usually performs frenectomies under local anesthesia and the patient will recover in a few days. Young children may be administered general anesthesia to ensure the child is unconscious and does not feel any pain. A small portion of the frenum will be removed by the professional conducting the procedure before closing the wound if necessary.

Conclusion

Everybody has frenum’s but the shape and size vary widely among people. These are usually loose bits of tissue in the mouth causing some people to experience frenum tears at times which are usually not a cause for concern.

In some cases, people may develop a frenum that is either too long or abnormal in shape. Such abnormalities can get in the way of using the mouth and may even be signs of a serious health condition.

If you suspect you or your child as an abnormality with the frenum should be discussing with your doctor or pediatric dentist in Pearland, TX, to understand whether surgical intervention or any other treatment is necessary.

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