A frenectomy is a procedure in which excess tissue called frenum is removed from the mouth. Frenum is the connecting tissue between the lower jaw and the tongue, as well as between the jaw and the lips. In most frenectomy cases, the frenum that needs to be reduced reaches down between the two front upper or lower teeth.
A large frenum that extends down in the upper part of the mouth can prevent the two front teeth from closing together for a beautiful smile. For children, removing a portion of the frenum can allow the two front upper teeth the opportunity to naturally close together. If a child or adult patient needs braces and has a large frenum, the gap between the teeth can re-open if not treated. When needed, a frenectomy can help protect your orthodontic investment.
Older adults who need dentures could also benefit from a frenectomy. Sometimes a large upper frenum can prevent dentures from fitting properly. In other instances, a large lower frenum can restrict the tongue’s ability to move. The lower frenum can be reduced to increase movement of the tongue. Consult with your dentist about the possible need for a frenectomy if your tongue feels restricted or if you are considering getting braces or dentures.