In cases where there is a problem with the frenum, our Etobicoke oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform a frenectomy to improve oral function.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure to remove a frenum from the mouth when it is too tight or short and limits movement in the mouth. This procedure can be performed at any age, but is most common for babies and children.
This safe, fast-healing procedure usually does not require any anesthesia. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon will simply cut the frenum to free the tongue, lip or cheek. The frenum is very thin and has few nerves, meaning there is very little pain associated with the procedure.
Types of Frenums
A frenum is a small piece of tissue that connects your cheeks, tongue or lips to your gum area. The restriction of any of these frenums is a natural condition that babies are born with.
Lingual frenum is the tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. When this frenum restricts movement in the mouth, it’s referred to as a tongue tie.
Labial frenum is the tissue that connects the lips to the bottom of your upper and lower gums. When this frenum restricts movement in the mouth, it’s referred to as a lip tie.
Buccal frenum is the tissue that connects the gums to the inside of the cheeks. When this frenum restricts movement in the mouth, it’s referred to as a cheek tie.
The Frenectomy Process
A frenectomy may be recommended as a permanent solution for an elongated frenulum.
The oral and maxillofacial surgeon will assess the frenum or frena in question to determine whether or not the procedure is necessary. Unless the frenum is causing a problem with eating or speech, less invasive approaches are considered first.
If we deem the surgery necessary, it is performed here at our clinic. The entire procedure usually lasts about 10 or 15 minutes, and recovery is usually complete within approximately two weeks.
During recovery, the patient will receive pain relief medication as needed to help with discomfort at the surgical site. Proper aftercare procedures, including hygiene and avoiding unnecessary movement of the tongue, will be outlined to the patient (or the patient's parent) prior to leaving the clinic.