You may not have heard of the frenula, yet you rely on these slender pieces of tissue to perform essential functions for you every day. Frenula are the thinly stretched muscles that connect the upper gums to the upper lip and the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When the frenula are too short, a person may experience “lip tie” or “tongue tie,” which can cause difficulties with eating and speaking. This is especially problematic in growing children, who can suffer nutritional deficits and social ridicule. Those with these conditions may be more likely to develop conditions including gum recession and gapped teeth. In fact, in a growing child, a tongue-tie can even influence the proper development of the jaw bones. With a team of board-certified periodontists on staff, we can correct these conditions by performing a procedure called a frenectomy—just one type of soft tissue treatment we offer here at Periodontal Medicine & Surgical Specialists. Most patients experience a significant improvement to their quality of life after a frenectomy in Chicago, Oak Brook, and Park Ridge, IL.
Symptoms of Tongue Tie and Lip Tie
Problems chewing food
Difficulty extending the tongue
Trouble touching the roof of the mouth with the tongue
A notch in the tip of the tongue
Lips that don’t close while resting
A gap between front teeth
Frenectomy: What to Expect
A frenectomy is a simple but effective soft tissue treatment that will give the lips and tongue a full, natural range of movement. Our surgical specialists perform two kinds of frenectomies—the lingual frenectomy and maxillary labial frenectomy. During a lingual frenectomy, we numb the tongue before making an incision to detach the tongue from the floor of the mouth. With the maxillary labial frenectomy, we first numb the area of the upper lip and upper gums before removing the connecting frenulum. After either procedure, we stitch up the incision and allow it time to heal. Both can generally be performed very quickly and will allow you or a loved one to enjoy normal daily activities without further pain, worry, or difficulty!
Take the Next Step Now
If you’re ready to experience the benefits of a procedure like this, or to provide them to a loved one, request a consultation with one of our doctors. They’ll take the time to ensure you fully understand the condition and treatment options before recommending any procedures. That’s the kind of personalized care you can always expect from our periodontal practice.