What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a scary sounding word for a routine surgical procedure to remove a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a small soft muscular attachment between two tissues, the easiest way to think of it is as a kind of cord which limits movement. There are two frena in the mouth which connect the tongue, lips, and cheeks to the jaw bones.

If the frenum is too short, tight or tough, it does its job too well and can obstruct functions such as impacting teeth alignment or restricting the tongue and lip movement. This inhibited movement can cause difficulty with regular tasks like eating and talking. During a frenectomy, the frenum is severed and typically removed to allow movement. It is a simple surgical procedure that generally takes less than thirty minutes to complete.

What Patients Can Expect After a Frenectomy?

  • After a frenectomy, patients can expect some mild swelling and discomfort which can usually be controlled with over the counter medications. Rinsing with salt water mouth-rinses several times a day will help to keep the wound clean and reduce the chances of an infection occurring.

  • Continue to brush and floss as usual but be careful not to irritate the surgical site.

  • A follow-up visit may be required to remove any stitches and healing should be complete within ten to 14 days.

  • Like any surgical procedure, you may experience mild swelling, bruising, tenderness, gum scarring or bleeding.