Lingual/Labial Frenectomy

Patients scheduled to have a labial/lingual frenectomy should be familiar with certain information.  If there are further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

  • WHAT IS AN ABNORMAL FRENUM?  For the lingual frenum, it usually consists of mucosa (mucous membrane), dense fibrous connective tissue and occasionally superior fibers of the genioglossus muscle.  The attachment binds the tip of the tongue to the posterior (back) surface of the mandible (lower jaw). This attachment can affect speech and reduce the ability of the tongue to aid in oral hygiene.  This condition is called ankyloglossia (tongue tied). Rarely, the frenum may pull the gingiva (gums) away from the teeth.  After loss of teeth, this tongue attachment (frenum) interferes with denture stability, because each time the tongue is moved, the frenal attachment is tensed, and the denture is dislodged. For the labial frenum, either in the maxilla or in the mandible, the dense connective tissue extends to the area between the front teeth causing a space to develop between the upper front teeth or the gum to pull away from the lower front teeth.
  • HOW CAN THIS CONDITION BE CORRECTED? Surgical release of the shortened lingual frenum (tongue attachment) or release of the labial frenum requires an incision through the soft tissue possibly followed by closure (stitches) in a linear direction. This can be done with a blade, or electrocautery.