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What is a Frenectomy?

11 Dec, 2018 |

A frenectomy is a laser removal process of the frena, or connective tissue in the mouth that attaches the tongue to the mouth, upper lip to the gums and/or the gums to the cheeks. This procedure provides patients with better mobility when it would otherwise be prevented. The surgery can be performed on infants or adults, and is often done under anesthesia with an easygoing healing process.

Indications of Needing a Frenectomy

In Babies:

  • Inability to latch onto mother’s breasts
  • Difficulty gaining weight or abnormal weight loss (failure to thrive)
  • Reflux
  • Speech developmental issues
  • Longer and more frequent feedings
  • Other unlisted symptoms

In Adults:

  • Dental hygiene issues
  • Space between teeth
  • Speech difficulties
  • Receding gums
  • Other side effects as a result of sleep apnea therapy

What Condition Does a Frenectomy Treat?

A frenectomy treats the connecting of tissue in the mouth area that prevents patients from meeting developmental milestones on time, such as speech and breastfeeding.

How Common Is It?

Conditions requiring a frenectomy are as common in boys as they are in girls, but seem to affect infants more than they affect children and adults.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The need for a frenectomy is usually observed by your primary care physician after you bring up any concerns with speech development or difficulty opening the mouth due to connecting tissues. They will then recommend you to an oral surgeon to perform the frenectomy.

Side Effects of Untreated Connected Tissue

In infants, this could lead to significant weight loss because they are unable to latch to the mother’s breasts. Adults could have trouble eating as well due to the obstruction caused by tissue that gets in the way.

To learn more about frenectomy or to help decide if one is recommended, call our office to make an appointment.

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