Good oral hygiene and periodontal health play a crucial role in our overall well-being. Periodontal health involves the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, ligaments, and bones. Untreated periodontal issues can lead to tooth loss and even impact systemic health. A frenectomy is a periodontal treatment that may be needed to treat lip-tie or tongue-tie.
Understanding the Frenectomy Procedure
This minor surgical procedure performed by our periodontist addresses abnormal or restrictive frenula in the mouth. These small folds of tissue connect various areas of the oral cavity, like the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) or the lips to the gums (labial frenulum). Frenula can be unusually short or tight, causing a range of oral health issues.
What a Frenectomy Typically Involves
- Diagnosis: The first step is accurately diagnosing the issue. Our periodontist will perform a thorough examination of the mouth to determine whether the frenulum is causing problems.
- Local Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area where the frenectomy will take place to ensure comfort.
- Incision or Laser Treatment: We may use a scalpel or laser to make precise incisions, releasing the restrictive frenulum.
- Sutures (Optional): In some cases, sutures may be used to close the incision, but often, the incisions are very small and heal quickly on their own.
- Post-Operative Care: We will provide specific instructions on post-operative care, including maintaining oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods or activities for a few days to promote healing.
Benefits of Frenectomy
A frenectomy can offer numerous benefits for both oral health and overall well-being:
- Treatment of Ankyloglossia (Tongue Tie): This arises when the lingual frenulum is too tight, restricting tongue movement. This can lead to problems with speech, eating and good oral hygiene. A frenectomy restores tongue mobility and function.
- Management of Gum Recession: An overly tight labial frenulum can contribute to gum recession. A frenectomy releases the tension on the gums, promoting their proper positioning around the teeth and preventing further recession.
- Orthodontic Benefits: A restrictive frenulum can interfere with orthodontic treatment when braces or aligners need to reposition the teeth. Frenectomy helps orthodontic appliances work more effectively for better outcomes.
- Enhanced Oral Hygiene: Difficulty cleaning certain areas of the mouth from frenulum restrictions often lead to plaque buildup and gum disease. A frenectomy contributes to better oral hygiene and reduced periodontal issues.
- Improved Breastfeeding Experience: In infants, tongue tie can affect breastfeeding, causing challenges for both baby and mother. A frenectomy resolves this issue so the baby can latch on and feed properly.
Contributing to a Healthier Smile
A frenectomy can have a transformative impact on one’s smile. By addressing the issues caused by restrictive frenula, the procedure can lead to:
- Enhanced Smile Aesthetics: Removing frenula that cause a “gummy” smile or distort the position of the teeth can result in a more symmetrical and aesthetically appealing smile.
- Increased Confidence: When oral health concerns are addressed and the smile improves, one often experiences a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Better Speech: When ankyloglossia affects speech, a frenectomy can significantly improve pronunciation and communication abilities.
By addressing abnormal or restrictive frenula in the mouth, a frenectomy helps boost oral health and well-being. If you have any questions or are seeking periodontal assistance, our team is ready to help. Please reach out at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation.