Frenums attach two areas of tissue or muscle and are largely responsible for keeping the structures in your mouth close and tight. At Ueno Center Dental Specialists in Campbell, California, serving San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos and surrounding areas, the team releases particularly large and tight frenums with precise laser frenectomy surgery. To find out if you need a frenectomy, request an appointment by phone or online today.
Labial frenums are the tissue attachments that connect the inside of your inner lips with your gums. You have one labial frenum between your upper front teeth and another between the two front teeth on your lower arch. You also have another frenum, called a lingual frenum, that attaches the bottom of your tongue to the floor of your mouth.
If either of your labial frenums is too large or close to the gum line, it can cause problems for the structure of your mouth. A large frenum can cause a corresponding gap between your front teeth. Your frenum can also contribute to gum recession if your gums are already detached from your teeth.
A lingual frenum can affect speech, failure to thrive/nurse of an infant, affect skeletal growth, causes open bites, and is related to airway issues, obstructive sleep apnea, and ADHD. If the tongue is being held down by your frenum, it is unable to make contact with your palate. During development, this contact to the palate will expand the palate and open the airway. It is important to recognize tongue ties early and get the proper treatment. In many cases of “tongue-tie,” the patient must see a myofunctional therapist to help with the proper use and function of the tongue prior to the laser frenectomy surgery.
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure during which your periodontist removes one of your frenums. In most cases, the team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists uses a soft tissue laser such as the Light Scalpel to remove your frenum with no bleeding and limited discomfort.
Not everyone is a candidate for a pure laser frenectomy, and some people will still need sutures. In some cases, a combination of laser and scalpel may be necessary depending on the severity of your case, and this will be discussed with you at your consultation.
If you have severe gum recession, the team may also recommend getting a gum graft at the time of your frenectomy. This allows you to have a single healing period for both procedures so you can quickly get back to eating, drinking, and speaking freely. This is very common for the lower front teeth.
After your frenectomy, you can use your mouth normally again. In fact, many patients don’t notice any difference between the way their mouth feels before the frenectomy, and after their healing is complete.
As far as oral surgeries go, a frenectomy has a short and easy healing time, especially with the use of the laser. There is little to no bleeding after your surgery, Some people get minor swelling after the surgery, but you can minimize the swelling by using ice packs on and off during the first 24 hours after your surgery.
Much of the healing process is personalized, depending on what you can tolerate. You should come back to Ueno Center Dental Specialists for follow-up care after your frenectomy to make sure you’re healing smoothly. The team tells you when it’s safe to start eating solid foods and when you’re free to start exercising again.
If either of your frenums disrupts your smile’s appearance or your mouth’s functioning, call Ueno Center Dental Specialists or book an appointment online today.