An experienced periodontist, Jeffrey Felzer, DMD, is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and member of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He has more than a decade of experience in the field and practices in his private office in Delaware. Dr. Jeffrey Felzer provides a wide range of services to his patients, including frenectomies.
A type of oral surgery, a frenectomy removes thin tissue layers in the mouth to correct problems with tooth positioning or speech. The two basic types of frenectomy are labial and lingual. Lingual frenectomies remove the tissue underneath the tongue, usually to correct speech difficulties or oral hygiene problems. Issues occur when the lingual frenum runs too far along the tongue and restricts its movement. Parents often notice problems relating to the lingual frenum when their children begin talking, but problems with eating can occur earlier. By cutting the lingual frenum, the tongue has improved flexibility.
Labial frenectomies remove the frenum on either the upper or lower lip. Many of these procedures are cosmetic, but medical problems sometimes occur from labial frenums. Frenums that are too thick or too short cause complications with certain dental appliances, such as dentures. Some labial frenums result in a gap in the teeth or prevent the mouth from closing properly. This open mouth posture impairs nose breathing and can negatively affect jaw development. Additionally, problems with labial frenums cause the gums to recede and increase the risk of gum disease.