A frenum is a fold of tissue in the mouth. Frenums are found between the upper two front teeth, under the tongue, and on the sides of the gums. A frenectomy is a procedure to remove one of these folds of tissue.
frenum has no purpose and removing one causes no loss of function. A frenectomy is done when a frenum is too tight, in the wrong place or otherwise causes problems. In most cases, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs the surgery. Some people have a tight frenum under the tongue. This may prevent the tongue from moving freely. The condition is called tongue tie or ankyloglossia. Tongue tie may interfere with feeding in infants. Later, it can cause problems as a child learns to talk. Sometimes a frenum is attached between the upper front teeth (incisors). This may cause problems when a child's permanent teeth come in around age 6 or 7. The teeth may not be able to come in, or there may be a gap between them. Less often, a frenum inside the lower lip may pull the gum away from the lower front teeth (incisors). This may result in gum problems. A frenum also can interfere with the fit of a denture. This may occur anywhere in the mouth. However, it is seen more often on the sides of either the top or bottom jaw.
The procedure can be done either in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia or in the office under local anesthesia. During an office procedure, sometimes a sedative drug also is given through a vein. Infants and young children usually have the procedure in a hospital operating room. A surgeon can use a scalpel or a laser to remove a frenum. While a laser produces less bleeding, it can't always be used. In some cases, stitches are needed.