The mouth contains several frenums, sometimes called frenulums, and these are bands of tissue that connect one part of the mouth to another. For instance the lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, while the labial frenum connects the lips to the gums immediately in front of the teeth. Most people’s frenums give them an adequate range of movement, but occasionally this band of tissue may be too tight, or it can be very short or thick, or it may extend too far down the gum or tongue. This condition can make it difficult for infants to breast feed, and may later cause speech difficulties, literally causing those affected to become tongue-tied through creating a condition called ankyloglossia. If the lingual frenum is particularly tight then it can even cause the tongue to become misshapen, creating a heart-shape. This condition can also constrict movement of the lips or tongue, but is easy to put right through a simple surgical procedure called a frenectomy..Frenectomy Lancaster has some nice tips on this.
Surgery simply involves cutting or excising the frenum, and most cases only take a few minutes to complete. This is the kind of procedure that is ideal for lasers in dentistry, and usage of a soft tissue dentist’s laser will create the minimum of discomfort to the patient, and the minimum of bleeding. As the capillaries are immediately sealed by dental lasers, there is no need for stitches, and patients should experience very little post-surgical discomfort. It may be slightly difficult to eat for a few days afterwards, and the area may be slightly sore. There’s also the possibility that unless the patient follows the proper post-surgical exercises, that the frenum could reattach itself more tightly than before. However even taking all these things into consideration, laser surgery would be especially beneficial if this procedure is necessary for young children.
Surgery to release a restricted lingual frenum may also be especially beneficial for young children as it could help improve their speech and their ability to chew and swallow food, leading to better nutrition. It can also improve oral health, and people with ankyloglossia find it difficult to sweep their tongue across their upper and lower teeth to help dislodge food particles. This inability to move the tongue can increase the risk of dental caries. If the lingual frenum is tight enough to cause the tongue to become misshapen, then there is the risk that the child will feel self-conscious about the shape of their tongue, and releasing it can help improve their self-confidence.