What is a Frenectomy?

What is a Frenectomy (Tongue Tie / Lip Tie)

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the formal name of the dental specialty concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance and correction of bad bites. The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy bite—straight teeth that properly meet opposing teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak.

Two Types of Frenectomy

A lingual frenectomy is performed when the lingual frenulum (the frenulum that connects the bottom of the tongue to the mouth’s floor) is too short or thick. An ill-formed lingual frenulum can result in ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie. Tongue-tie often prevents a patient from eating or speaking correctly and can be especially troublesome for developing children.

A labial frenectomy is performed when the frenulum attaching the top lip to the gums surrounding the top teeth is malformed. A problem with this frenulum may lead to gum recession in the area if it is not addressed.

Tongue Tie / Lip Tie

Tongue-tie: A tongue-tie is when a thick band of tissue under the tongue binds an infant’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth. This tissue, the lingual frenulum, generally separates before birth, but sometimes does not, for unknown reasons. This can lead to difficulties and pain when breastfeeding, as well as other issues with overall oral comfort and speech development. If your child has had problems breastfeeding or an older child complains about tongue discomfort, then tongue-tie might be the culprit.

Lip-tie: Lip-ties are very similar to tongue-ties but are a result of the tissue behind the upper lip, the labial frenulum, being too thick and inflexible instead, preventing the upper lip from moving freely. This condition can make breastfeeding very difficult, resulting in pain and discomfort for the mother and a lack of healthy weight gain for the infant. If you have noticed that your infant is not gaining weight, is constantly hungry but never seems to be satisfied, often falls asleep while nursing or other complications, please contact us today.