A frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment, normally seen between the upper and lower front teeth connecting the inner aspect of the lip with the gum and also under the tongue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A frenectomy is the surgical alteration of the frenum.
A frendectomy may be required in different situations:
- Too much restriction of movement of the tongue, for example can interfere with normal function.
- A lack of attached gingiva, in conjunction with a high (closer to the biting surface) frenum attachment, which exaggerates the pull on the gum margin, can result in recession.
- An excessively large frenum can prevent the teeth from coming together resulting in a gap between the front teeth.
When Orthodontic treatment is planned or initiated, the removal of an abnormal frenum, with or without a gingival graft, can increase stability and improve success of the final orthodontic result.