Friday, June 2, 2017

Indications for Frenectomy in Children

As a periodontist, Dr. Jeffrey Felzer concerns himself with the health of his patients' oral soft tissues. Dr. Jeffrey Felzer offers a procedure called a frenectomy as part of his private practice in Wilmington, Delaware.

In the human body, two tissues often connect by way of a muscular attachment known as a frenum. The mouth contains a total of three frena, two of which often interfere with normal function and development. When this occurs, the patient may require a frenectomy to remove or cut the tissue in question.

A lingual frenectomy addresses the frenum that connects the tongue to the inside lower surface of the mouth. Many children are born with a lingual frenum that is too tight or too short, and either one of these conditions can inhibit jaw growth and ultimately lead to orthodontic or bite issues. A small incision can release this tissue and let the tongue move normally, so that the child can grow with proper mouth function.

The mouth's other frena attach each lip to the corresponding gums. The upper lip attaches to the upper teeth by way of the maxillary labial frenum, which, if too short or tight, can prevent the mouth from closing properly and lead to mouth breathing. The same malfunction of the frenum may also cause the tissue to extend too low and cause a gap between the two front teeth.

In general, experts recommend correction of abnormal frena if the tissue is causing pain or interfering with function. A qualified periodontist can consult with the child’s parents to decide if and when the child should undergo the procedure.