A Frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure to remove or divide a frenum, a small ligament that regulates the movement of the lip or tongue.
The upper labial frenum is a ligament that attaches the muscles of the upper lip from the inside mucosa to the gingiva (gum) above the upper central teeth. When the attachment is high running in between the two upper central teeth on older children, it is referred to as a lip tie. During breastfeeding, a restrictive ligament can affect a baby’s ability to flange their upper lip to create an efficient vacuum seal, often losing attachment, allowing air to be sucked in resulting in wind and reflux like symptoms. Due to their poor sucking action, these lip tied babies often do not get an adequate milk intake, they tend to tire easily and therefore, feed for longer time periods more often.
The lingual frenum is part of a complex ligament structure that essentially attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth and lower jaw. When this attachment is close to the lower central teeth this is commonly called being tongue tied. The tongue tied baby is restricted in the ability of their tongue to move fully with resulting reduced function.