A frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment, normally seen between the front teeth (either upper or lower). It connects the inner aspect of the lip with the gum. 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. Additionally, an excessively large frenum can prevent the teeth from coming together resulting in a gap between the front teeth. If pulling is seen or the frenum is too large to allow the teeth to come together, the frenum is surgically released from the gum with a frenectomy. A frenectomy is simply the surgical removal of a frenum.

When 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.


Many people have a thin band of tissue between their tongue and floor of the mouth, or their lip and teeth that is called a frenum.  In some patients this frenum may restrict speech, swallowing, feeding, lip movement or cause a gap between teeth.  A LightScalpel laser frenectomy and tongue-tie release is a quick and gentle procedure that can be performed on patients from infants through adults. A release of the tongue-tie, or frenum often take less than a couple of minutes and requires no restrictive sutures and no general anesthesia. Some mothers have reported that immediately following their baby’s frenectomy, they were able to nurse with an improved latch and less pain during breastfeeding.

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