A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that alters the frenulum. Which is a soft tissue that typically binds two organs together. It mostly functions to provide stability and support to certain organs such as the tongue and lips.
The frenulum is found in several places on the body, from the penis to the mouth and even the digestive tract. Any modification done to the frenulum is called frenectomy. Even a circumcision is a frenectomy. But in this article we will only address oral frenectomy.
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenctomy is a very simple procedure in which doctors modify the frenulum in any area on the body. But more recently, and in terms of cosmetic surgery, a frenectony is an oral procedure in which only the frenula in the mouth are altered.
The procedure is only beneficial if a person has some sort of defect in their frenulum.
Types of Frenula in the Mouth
In the mouth, there are two types of frenula. You have one just under the tongue. And its job is to hold the tongue to the lower jaw. In which it gives it stability without limiting its movement as it stretches to accommodate to it.
The second frenulum is right under the upper lips. And it connects the lips to the gums as to make sure they don’t recede too far.
When Is a Frenectomy Necessary?
As you can see, the frenulum services many functions that we can’t overlook. So when is it necessary to get a frenectomy? In short, when there’s a defect. A frenulum should not limit speech or normal movement of a certain organ. For example, a frenulum under the tongue that is too short will not allow the tongue to move properly. This causes speech problems for patients.
On the other hand, if the frenulum on the gums is too short, it can cause minor issues with the speech as well as result in poor oral health. The tension that a tight frenulum causes to the gums can lead them to receding over time. And this generally causes poor oral health.
What Causes a Tight Frenulum?
A tight frenulum is merely a knot that doesn’t allow the tissue to fully extend. Typically, it is a birth defect. But some people can get defected frenulum from accidents as well.
How Does the Procedure Work?
In a frenectomy, the procedure is quite simple. It begins with your doctor applying local anesthesia to the area. After this, they will use a scalpel to make a cut in the frenulum. This cut is what relaxes the knot and allows the frenulum to function normally. Stitching isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, if the procedure is a bit invasive or the complex, your doctor may stitch the frenulum. But, in general, a frenectomy is a very simple procedure that heals very quickly.
Aftercare in a frenectomy is just as simple as the procedure itself. The healing period is a week and during that time it’s best to eat soft foods. This is because hard foods can make crumbs that might get stuck between the frenulum during recovery. So to be safe and avoid infection, make sure your diet for the first 7 days at least consists of soft foods.
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