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What Is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure wherein the frenulum is removed. A frenulum is a piece of connective tissue that can be found in various parts of the body: the oral cavity, the digestive tract, the brain, and the genital area (both for men and women). The purpose of a frenulum is to restrict the movement of the part of the body that it is connected to. Another term for a frenulum is frenum.

When the frenulum is too short or too long, it can cause problems. That is when a frenectomy is required. The most common kind of frenectomy performed is on the frenula found in the oral cavity. There are two frenula in this area: one that connects the upper lip to the upper gum line and one that connects the tongue to the base of the mouth.

In some individuals, the frenulum connecting the upper lip to the gums is too long. Problems that may arise from this condition include the receding of the gums and gaps between teeth. A simple frenectomy can rectify the problem. This procedure is called a labial frenectomy.

When the frenulum underneath the tongue is too short, it can cause problems such as poor weight gain for infants. This is due to the fact that the baby cannot suck milk properly. It can also cause speech problems as well as impair the development of teeth. The procedure to correct this problem is called a lingual frenectomy.

These procedures are fairly routine and should not be a cause of major concern.

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