Frenectomy is a procedure that is done to remove a small fold of tissue, known as the frenulum, which restricts movement. In the mouth, it is usually performed under the tongue or inside the middle of the upper lip and can be done on infants, children and adults.
When the frenulum is found under the tongue this is known as tongue-tie. For babies, this can be a problem as the tongue movements are restricted and this can affect their abilities to breastfeed which can lead to other issues such as nipple pain for the mother, and decreased milk intake for the infant. A lingual frenectomy, or tongue-tie release is performed to remove the frenulum.
In some instances, the frenulum attaches the upper lip to the upper gums. In infants, this can also affect their ability to breast feed properly. In cases like these, a labial frenectomy is done to remove the frenulum.
Sometimes, in adults, the frenulum can push the lower front teeth away from the gums causing gum recession. In these cases, the dental frenectomy may be performed to stabilize the gums, and prevent further recession.