A Frenectomy Can Remove Excess Tissue to Treat Tongue Ties, Aesthetic Issues, and Other Concerns

The two tags of skin in your mouth that help guide the development of  your oral structures are called the frenulum. The labial frenum connects your upper lip to your gums and the lingual frenum runs from the underside of your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Occasionally, if the frenulum is too large, it can cause speech impediments, oral health problems, and aesthetic difficulties. Emma Y. Wu, DMD, MS, FICOI, can easily remove excess tissue during a frenectomy at her North Andover, MA, practice. At Emma Y. Wu Aesthetic Family Dentistry, we proudly use advanced lasers, which can seal your blood vessels even as it removes the unwanted tissue. A frenectomy can often benefit children with conditions such as tongue tie. Children or adults with a speech impediment can also benefit from this treatment.

When Is a Frenectomy Necessary?

There are several instances in which Dr. Wu may recommend a frenectomy. Situations in which this procedure might be beneficial include:

  •  You or your child has an enlarged labial frenum that is causing a gap to develop between the front teeth
  • Your child has a large lingual frenum that causes speech impediments
  • Your child’s lingual frenum interferes with his or her ability to nurse properly
  • A tight labial frenum is causing gum recession

Dr. Wu needs to remove excess tissue before fitting you for dentures or beginning orthodontic treatment

The precision of the laser allows Dr. Wu to achieve the best possible results with little impact on the lips, gums, tongue, and other soft tissues.

What to Expect during and after a Frenectomy

Before your frenectomy, Dr. Wu will numb the excess tissue and the surrounding area. With our local anesthesia and laser technology, the procedure will be quick and virtually painless. Then she will use a soft tissue laser to trim off the unwanted tissue. Because the laser energy will seal blood vessels as it works, she will not typically need to place any stitches to close the incisions. The entire procedure typically takes approximately 10 minutes. Following the procedure, you or your child may experience some minor inflammation. This typically lasts for a few days and can be controlled with over-the-counter medications or a prescription anti-inflammatory, if necessary. A soft diet can further help to minimize sensitivity.

What Are the Benefits of a Frenectomy?

Though a frenectomy is very quick and involves a very brief healing time, it can have long-lasting effects. The outcomes of this treatment can include:

  • Improved nutrition and weight gain for infants who previously struggled to breastfeed properly
  • Improved speech
  • Reduction of excess saliva
  • More comfortable orthodontic treatment and denture wear
    Freedom of tongue and jaw movement
  • Improved appearance and an accompanying boost of self-confidence

While traditional manual techniques can yield these benefits, our laser technology has additional important benefits. The procedure involves very little discomfort, and recovery time will be minimal. Additionally, the laser can kill any bacteria, and, because it does not come in direct contact with your gums, there is very little risk of infection. Finally, the precision of the laser allows Dr. Wu to achieve the best possible results with little impact on the lips, gums, tongue, and other soft tissues.

Improve Your Oral Function

To find out whether you or your child would benefit from a frenectomy, call our office at (978) 774-0725 or contact our office online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wu. After a consultation, she can help you decide if the procedure is right for you.