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Blog Dr. Alex Llanos

Do you know when a dental frenulum should be operated on and why?

Oral frenula are bands of fibrous, fibromuscular, or muscular connective tissue that attach the mouth to the tongue or the upper or lower lip. They generally do not cause any pathology, but at times, they can lead to phonetic or dental problems, necessitating a straightforward procedure for resolution.


Types of frenula and their issues

  1. Tongue Frenulum: This frenulum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and if it is too short, it can restrict tongue movement, leading to phonetic issues, speech alterations, and reduced tongue mobility. To determine if treatment is necessary, a simple test is recommended: touching the palatal side of the upper incisors with the tip of the tongue while the mouth is open. The extent to which the tongue can be extended is also assessed. If the tongue cannot move normally and there are speech problems, a minor surgical procedure is needed to cut the frenulum slightly, allowing for more natural tongue movement.

  2. Upper Lip Frenulum: In this case, the band of tissue extends from the upper lip's base, above the teeth (vestibule, yugal groove), and the mid-portion of the upper lip to the midline between the two central incisors. This type of frenulum can create spaces between the upper central incisors and hinder the movement of the upper lip, causing pronunciation issues with certain words. Long and abnormally inserted frenula of this kind are treated with surgery and orthodontics to remove the frenulum and close the gap between the teeth.

  3. Lower Lip Frenulum: In this case, the frenulum pulls on the lower gum and can lead to periodontal problems, potentially requiring a graft due to gum absence in the area. This frenulum increases the risk of gum inflammation and gingival recession (gum shrinkage in the lower incisors). Laser procedures could provide satisfactory results with less discomfort, reduced inflammation, and rapid healing. In many cases, there is no need for anesthesia to perform the surgery.

Dr. |A® Dentistry has a team of specialists who will analyze your case, providing the best solution to restore your smile.

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