A frenectomy is procedure commonly performed in dentistry. There are several muscle attachments in the top and bottom jaw that need relieved under certain circumstances. A

frenectomy is done to severe the muscle in question reducing its effect in the mouth.

Although several of the muscles exist, it is rare for all but a select couple to need relieved. The most common areas are between the two upper middle front teeth, between the lower middle teeth and under the tongue. The following paragraphs describe the 2 most common areas involved.

Let’s look at each region individual and determine while each may require this procedure.

1. Between top center teeth. This muscle attaches the top lip to the gum tissue adjacent to the top middle teeth. There are 2 main reasons why this muscle would require the mentioned procedure.

A. As children are developing, a low muscle attachment that is secured to the gum tissue between the teeth can prevent the center two teeth from coming together in their normal position as the child grows. Surgical intervention may allow the teeth to migrate to a natural position. Orthodontics may be needed to assist in the positioning.

A low muscle location that persists into adulthood can constantly pull on the gum tissue between the top center teeth. This can result in gingival recession leaving an unaesthetic black space between said teeth. A surgical procedure performed timely can prevent this occurrence.

Note the black space between the two front teeth caused by years of an aggressive muscle pull.

Attachment under the tongue

This situation is also known as “tongue tied” or “ankyloglossia”. Here the muscle attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth and in severe cases, restricts movement of the tongue and effects speech. A frenectomy can provide increased tongue mobility and improved speech.

3. Between bottom 2 center teeth In addition to the above common areas that exhibit frenum pull, the area that connects the lower lip to the gum tissue between the bottom center two teeth can also be affected. The reason this frenum(muscle) may need removed is for its ability to cause significant gum recession. If gingival recession is pronounced enough, the risk of tooth loss is present.

Historically a frenectomy procedure was performed by a scalpel technique with sutures. This method involves bleeding, stitches, prolonged healing times and moderate discomfort. Current techniques are performed with a soft tissue laser. This releasing procedure executed with a laser is very quick, has very little to zero bleeding, no stitches and minimal pain. Truly, this method is state of the art.