Frenectomy surgery is a safe, quick procedure to remove labial or lingual aberrant soft tissue (frenum) from the mouth to improve gum (gingival) health, prevent relapse of aligned teeth after orthodontic treatment, and tongue-tie. The frenum is a small fold of soft tissue that contains minor muscle fibers and attaches the upper lip, lower lip, and tongue to the gums. In certain people, it can attach too high to the gums, which can lead to gum recession and bone loss that can eventually lead to tooth loss.


There are three primary frenums in the mouth:

Buccal / Labial frenum: Thin strands of tissue that run from the gums to the inside of the cheeks most commonly near the front teeth and premolar teeth

Lingual frenum: A thin strand of tissue that extends from the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth and occasionally can extend to the gums behind the lower front teeth. If this tissue becomes thick and fibrotic, it can cause tongue-tie (ankyloglossia).

Lingual, buccal, and labial frenectomy can all be conducted as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with other procedures to remove these areas of aberrant soft tissue to improve speech as well as gum and teeth health and comfort. If left untreated, buccal, labial, and lingual frenum tissue can affect periodontal (gum) health, teeth alignment, speech, and overall mouth function.

How Is Frenectomy Performed?

The area being treated is anesthetized, and the frenum is removed through an incision. Dissolvable sutures (stitches) are used to close the incision. Sutures typically dissolve within one week. Frenectomy can take between 15 and 60 minutes to complete, depending on the condition of the frenum.

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

Your incision sites may be sore for one or two days. Prescription pain medications can alleviate any discomfort during healing. Your mouth is typically examined a week later to ensure proper healing.

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