Frenectomy Treatment Procedures
The muscles of the cheeks and lips are attached to the gums and facial bones by several fibrous bands called frenae. A frenum can act to support or restrict the movement of a part or organ that it is attached to. Sometimes a frenum can be attached too high on the gums causing either recession or a gum defect and even spaces between the teeth.
In addition, there is another frenum under the tongue connecting it to the floor of the mouth. If this frenum is attached too close to the end of the tongue it can adversely affect swallowing and speech. This is sometimes referred to as being “tongue-tied”.
An oral frenectomy is a simple procedure where either part of all of the frenum attachment is released, thereby relieving tension that is constantly being applied to the gums or restricting the tongue.
The area of the frenum may be numbed with a local anaesthetic, depending on the age of the patient. The soft tissue is then released using a soft tissue laser. Stitches are not usually required. The area is treated with vitamin and covered with a cotton roll to control any bleeding that may occur, and this is often minimal. The procedure only takes a few minutes once the area is adequately numbed.
When using the laser, post-operative discomfort is minimal and often requires no pain medication in most cases. If you or your child experiences discomfort, you can use children’s Motrin® or a similar product. It would be best to avoid sharp crunchy foods and hot liquids initially during this healing time. Please refrain from pulling up on the lip as this may cause further tearing and bleeding, as well as delay healing.
- Rinsing the area with ½ tsp salt dissolved in warm water will reduce healing time. Initial healing occurs rapidly in 3-5 days.
- Limit activities which could result in the area being traumatized.
- Children can return to school the day after the treatment is completed.
- If any unusual bleeding or pain occurs please call the office as soon as possible, or if you have any questions that may have not already been addressed.
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