A frenulum is a rope of soft tissue. In the oral cavity, frena are present at various points. Most commonly, frena are located between the two front teeth on both arches, and underneath the tongue. The function of the frenum is to connect two structures, such as the lips or tongue to the gums.

Occasionally, a frenulum may be attached too high. As a result, it can have a negative impact on oral health or speech. In these instances, a frenectomy can be performed to eliminate the problematic tissue. Dr Zoud performs frenectomies at the Wisdom Specialist Centre.

What is a Frenectomy?

In simple terms, a frenectomy is any procedure performed to modify or remove a piece of binding tissue. Frena are present in other areas of the body. But most of the time, a frenectomy refers to an oral surgery procedure used to address a lip or tongue tie.

There are two primary types of oral frenectomies. We will explore each in more detail below.

Labial Frenectomy

In general, each individual has multiple frena on each arch. But the two that are the most problematic are the frena between the two front teeth on the upper and lower jaw.

If these pieces of tissue are shorter than average, it can cause other problems. In most cases, it actually pushes the teeth apart, creating a gap – or diastema. It can also make brushing and flossing more difficult.

A labial frenectomy modifies the frenum and eliminates excess tissue.

Lingual Frenectomy

If you place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, you can likely feel the lingual frenulum become taut underneath of your tongue. The length of this frenum can vary significantly among different individuals.

Patients with an extremely short frenum often suffer from restricted movement of the tongue. This condition – called ankyloglossia, or “tongue tie” – can have a direct impact on speech. In infants, it can even negatively affect the ability to breastfeed. In adults, the frenulum can pull on the gums and cause the gums to recede, resulting in gum disease and sensitivity of the teeth.

A lingual frenectomy can be performed to increase the tongue’s range of motion and prevent further recession of the gums. This procedure can be performed on patients of all ages to improve their speech development, reduce gum recession and improve quality of life.

What to Expect during the Procedure

To begin the procedure, Dr Zoud numbs the area with local anaesthesia. Once you are comfortable, the frenum is released. Traditionally, this step was completed with a scalpel. But due to advances in technology, a diathermy unit can be used instead. This reduces the amount of bleeding during the procedure as well as swelling and discomfort while recovering.

Typically, a frenectomy is a short and straightforward procedure. In most cases, it can be completed in less than one hour. For patients who are young or anxious, this procedure can be performed under a general anaesthetic in one of our private hospital facilities and you will be home on the same day.

Healing and Recovery

Most of the time, recovery is straightforward. The most important thing is to keep the area clean to avoid infection. Dr Zoud will provide you with necessary medications, which should be taken exactly as prescribed.

Patients should be able to resume normal activities within 24 hours. Full healing takes about one week to complete.

Schedule a Consultation

A frenectomy is a fast and simple procedure that can greatly enhance your health and quality of life. If you would like to learn more about this treatment, schedule an appointment at Wisdom Specialist Centre. Contact us online or call our surgery at (02) 8021 2728 (Burwood) or (02) 9633 4552 (Westmead).

Burwood Rooms

Shop 1/8 Burwood Rd
Burwood NSW 2134
P: (02) 8021 2728
F: (02) 8021 2723

    Westmead Rooms

    Suite 40, Daher Centre, 163 – 171
    Hawkesbury Road Westmead,
    NSW 2145
    P: (02) 9633 4552
    F: (02) 9893 8801