Cutting Ties with a Tiny and Sometimes Troublesome Tissue
In the world of dentistry, the opportunities to benefit patient lives are varied. Yes, beyond the familiar teeth cleanings, cavities filled and the like, are other less discussed procedures your dentist can provide for you.
What is a Frenectomy?
One such procedure is called a frenectomy, or tongue tie release. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure involving the removal of one or more frena from the mouth. It’s a part of the mouth that, unless causing discomfort or pointed out by your oral healthcare provider, you may not be aware of.
Simply put, the frenum is tissue that attaches one surface in the mouth to another. This includes the thin band of tissue connecting your tongue to the bottom of your mouth (lingual frenum), the connective tissue between the lips and gums of your front four teeth (Labial frenum), and the strands of tissue connecting your gums to the insides of your cheeks (Buccal frena). When it restricts normal movement and function, it can cause a range of problems.
You may be wondering; what circumstances deem a frenectomy necessary? Continue reading to learn more about how patients benefit from frenectomies.
Who can benefit from frenectomies?
Appropriately sized frenula help control the movement of parts of your mouth that play an important role in daily life, albeit from very restricted areas. On some occasions, however, overgrown or ill-sized, frenum can cause discomfort, gum recession, or a large gap between the two front teeth uncorrectable through orthodontic treatment.
For younger ones, they may have difficulty as their adult teeth try to break the surface due to increased pressure on the tissue where the frenulum is attached. For children learning to speak, an overgrown lingual frenulum may result in a struggle to properly engage in speech. In infants, an elongated lingual frenum may result in difficulty nursing or using a bottle. The challenge in developing speech and the difficulty infants experience feeding are both often referred to as being “tongue-tied.” It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of tongue ties and take action if needed.
Patients of varying ages can benefit from frenectomies. These benefits include but are not limited to:
- Improved spacing between the teeth
- Correction of an over pronounced gap in the front teeth not corrected by orthodontics
- Reduced discomfort
- Increased and improved ability to communicate
If you or a member of your family is having trouble or discomfort with this connective tissue, please contact Integrative Dental Solutions and schedule a consultation with Dr. Supriya K Shetty to determine if you or your loved one may benefit from a frenectomy.