If you’ve never heard of a frenectomy, it might sound a little scary and like something you wouldn’t even consider. But, the truth is, it’s a perfectly simple operation that can offer a lot of benefits for a lot of people. In our continued pursuit of providing holistic and far-reaching health-advice, we’re going to take a look at this procedure, who might need it, and how it can help you.
What Is A Frenectomy?
The frenectomy is the removal of connective tissue – known as the frenum – from under the tongue or the upper gums. You know the one we mean. It’s what you see in the mirror when you check under your tongue. Everyone has one, so why would you want to remove it?
There are a lot of reasons someone might need to have this piece of tissue removed, but to figure those out, we should look at the different types of frenectomies.
Types Of Frenectomies
Lingual Frenectomy: This is where the tissue connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is removed. While the average person won’t want to have this remove, it can provide extreme relief for those suffering from Ankyloglossia, otherwise known as being tongue-tied.
When you’re tongue-tied the frenum is too thick, and this means that the tongue only has limited movement.
This is a particularly harmful condition in babies and young children. It’s often present at birth and can impact the way a baby eats, making it difficult for them to breastfeed or drink from a bottle. If it’s not fixed early on it can also affect how a child speaks. While sometimes it resolves itself, a frenectomy is often needed to make sure the child can thrive.
Maxillary Frenectomy:This procedure removes the tissue at the top of the mouth that connects the top lip to the gums. Again, everyone has this tissue, but for some, it is excessively tight. If there is too much extra tissue, it can cause a gap in the two front teeth. It can also limit movement of the upper lip, often preventing the mouth from fully closing. If the problems are significant, removal is the best course of action.
Why Have A Frenectomy?
Either of the above issues can cause issues in childhood and adulthood. Babies that can’t breastfeed won’t get the proper nutrients and children with speech impediments can experience problems later in life. It can also make eating uncomfortable and often difficult for adults. If you have either of these conditions to any degree, surgery might be the right answer to help you lead a more normal life.
Both of these conditions can cause other problems throughout your life and while you’re often born with them, some people don’t realize they are the underlying cause of many other ailments.
The procedure for having a frenectomy is pretty straightforward, and as operations go it is one of the easiest out there. However, that doesn’t mean it is entirely without risk – nothing is, after all. But the procedure is simple enough so if you’ve been considering it, don’t let fear stop you.
At its most basic, the frenectomy can be done with a scalpel or even a pair of scissors after the affected area is numbed with an anesthetic. More severe cases might require sutures but that is rare.
Finally, there is also a new way of doing frenectomies involving laser surgery, but this is much less common and not likely to be the way most people have it done.
As you can see, frenectomies are pretty simple and straightforward and can help clear up a lot of other issues. We hope you’ve taken something away from this quick look at frenectomies and how they might help you.