A frenectomy is needed when the connective tissue in the mouth interferes with tongue movement or creates a gap between the front teeth. The minor oral surgical procedure is performed by your Amherst, NH, pediatric dentists at Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire.
Does my child need a frenectomy?
Although most children never need a frenectomy, the procedure can be helpful if your child has a problem with his or her lingual or labial frenum.
The lingual frenum is a band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth and stabilizes the tongue. If the frenum is too short, thick, or tight, problems can occur. The condition, commonly referred to as being "tongue-tied, can make it difficult for babies to latch on when breastfeeding and may affect speech, eating, and swallowing. Orthodontic problems may occur if your child changes his or her jaw position as a result of an issue with the frenum.
A child may also need a frenectomy due to an issue with the labial frenum. This frenum attaches the gum to the upper lip. In some cases, the frenum can protrude through the front teeth and cause a gap between the teeth. Frenum problems may also make it difficult to clean teeth and gums thoroughly and might increase your child's risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
Frenectomies are only performed if:
- The frenum is painful.
- A lingual frenum interferes with swallowing, eating, or speech.
- The gap between the front teeth can't be closed with orthodontic treatment due to a labial frenum.
During your visit to the Amherst pediatric dental office, your son or daughter's pediatric dentist will help you decide if a frenectomy could be helpful for your child.
How is a frenectomy performed?
After your child's mouth is numbed with a local anesthetic, his or her pediatric dentist makes a small cut to free the frenum or remove excess tissue, then places a few stitches in the mouth. The entire procedure only takes about a few minutes.
Could a frenectomy help your child? Call your Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire pediatric dentists in Amherst, NH, at (603) 673-1000 to schedule your child's appointment.