A frenectomy is simply the surgical removal of a frenulum or a small fold of tissue that prevents a given organ in your body from moving too much or too far. In dentistry, we’re mainly concerned with three types of frenula:
Connects the upper lip to the gum tissue of the upper teeth
Connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth
Attaches to the gum tissue between two teeth
First signs of restricted frenula can be from when a mother has difficulties breastfeeding. A painful or shallow latch can occur or the baby can have difficulty expressing milk properly from the breast.
The second stage of symptoms usually occur when the child is developing their dentition and speech. Restricted upper frenum can cause discomfort, gum recession, uneven tooth eruption, or a large gap between the front two teeth, which may not be correctable through orthodontic treatment. This is also the time frame when we can see problems in airway such as mouthbreathing and snoring. These lead to poor nasal breathing and eventually a constricted upper arch and palate. Speech difficulties can be noticed in this time frame around 12-24 months old.
A restrictive lingual frenulum, on the other hand, can result in what’s commonly known as being “tongue-tied”. When this attachment prevents proper mobility of the tongue, it can result in serious restrictions on your child’s ability to eat, speak, or breathe through their nose properly.
BABIES, MOTHERS, AND LATCHING