There are three frena in the mouth. There are two labial frena, which attach the upper and lower lips to the gums; the lingual frenum attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If one or more frena are restrictive or overly large, a doctor can reshape or remove some tissue using a soft tissue laser or manual techniques.
At Astoria Dental Group in Queens, NY, Drs. Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel can recommend a frenectomy if an overly large frenum us resulting in gaps between the teeth, ill-fitting dentures, or other dental problems. We can also recommend additional cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatments to improve the health and appearance of your smile.
An overly large labial frenum can affect dental alignment, causing a gap to appear between the two front teeth. In more severe cases, this tissue can cause pain in the upper lip and gums, and limit movement.
Excessive labial frenum tissue can also affect the fit of dentures.
Older children with a tight lingual frenum can have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, especially ‘d,’ ‘l,’ ‘s,’ ‘t,’ and ‘th.’ It is important to address this condition quickly before irregular speech patterns set in.
What to Expect during a Frenectomy
During the frenectomy, small amounts of tissue are removed with a soft tissue laser. Excess tissue can be removed as needed, without damaging the remaining tissue.
The Advantages of Laser Technology
Laser technology is becoming increasingly common among dentists and oral surgeons. Lasers can often eliminate bleeding and the need for stitches. Lasers are also extremely precise.
Healing and Recovery
If you do experience symptoms, they are typically mild and may include minor bleeding or a slight burning sensation. Patients can usually return to work or school the next day.
To prevent infection, it is important to observe the site closely for about a week and contact your dentist if you notice any unusual symptoms. Your doctor may recommend a specific mouthwash, peroxide, or topical vitamin E solution to promote healing.
The Risks of the Procedure
The procedure is minimally invasive, and serious complications are extremely rare. Potential risks include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Tongue thrust
- Nerve damage
When you work with a qualified practitioner, you can feel confident that your risk of complications is minimal. Contact our Queens practice if you are concerned and wish to schedule an appointment.
The benefits of a frenectomy can be life-changing.
Removing or reducing a large labial frenum will allow your orthodontist to perform appropriate treatment to close the gap between teeth. If your child has not started teething, a frenectomy can prevent this issue from developing at all.
If your dentures don’t fit correctly, a frenectomy can make your prosthetic feel more comfortable and secure. Your dentures will look more natural, and you will have a lower risk for gum sores, bad breath, and gum disease caused by a loose prosthetic.
By treating a restrictive lingual frenum, you can help your child avoid a lifetime of challenges, including difficulties at school or work, and a diminished sense of self-confidence. If your child has already started to talk, you may need to work with a speech therapist to reverse any irregular speech patterns.
Treating a tight frenum can greatly improve your baby’s overall health, as it can improve his or her ability to nurse. Your baby will be able to more easily take in nutrients, which can improve weight gain and growth. Nursing will be more comfortable for you, as well.
Contact Our Practice
Having a frenum that is properly shaped and sized can dramatically improve oral function and the beauty of your smile. Speak to your dentist or an oral surgeon to learn more. To find out if you are a candidate for treatment, contact us online or call us in Queens at (718) 278-1123.