A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure performed to release the connection of the “frenum.” This connective tissue usually restricts the tongue or upper lip from their proper function.
There are two types of oral frenectomies that are frequently performed on children for a variety of reasons.
A labial frenectomy is performed on “lip ties” or the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. This may be performed on children with nursing or oral hygiene issues and/or young adults to aid with orthodontic treatment or even to help with the proper fitting for an appliance.
A lingual frenectomy may also be referred to as the release of “tongue-ties” (ankyloglossia). This procedure is performed on the connective tissue under the tongue. The procedure is often performed on neonatal patients to assist with nursing or on toddlers or older patients who need the surgery to help correct speech issues caused by limited movement due to the frenum.
Helpful Post-Frenectomy Exercises
The purpose of these exercises is to ensure that the new frenum tissue heals with increased flexibility and to stimulate the new movements that were restrained before the procedure.
- With clean hands or gloves, gently grasp the upper lip while lifting up and back towards the nose.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and then let the lip come down, relax and repeat.
- Use the pad of your finger to gently massage along the gum line, moving side to side about 5 times each direction.
- With clean hands or gloves, gently place both index fingers under the tongue and lift up.
- Allow your fingers to sink down and up, moving the tongue up and down about 5 times.
- Gently massage your fingers side to side about 5 times each direction.