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What is a Frenectomy or Tongue-Tie Release/Revision?

A frenectomy is simply the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a soft tissue attachment between two structures, and in fact the mouth has a total of seven such frenal attachments. However, there are two major frena (the plural form of frenum) in the mouth that most often can obstruct normal oral function and are candidates for release (revision). These frena are the lingual frenum (the tongue-tie), which connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the maxillary labial frenum (the upper midline lip-tie), which connects the inside of your upper lip to your gums just above your upper two front teeth. The procedure can be performed using either scissors or laser, however lasers are the preferred choice when available.

Other facts:

– Incidence of tongue tie is approximately 4-5% of the population
– Not all tethered oral tissues (TOTs) need to be treated
– Most cases often involve more than one frenum
– Treatment is also dictated by presenting signs and symptoms
– Mild “looking” ties with poor nursing experience can be treated
– There are 7 oral ties of varying degrees of severity
– Midwifery/breastfeeding revival has seen a spike in TOTs being reported
– Often a genetic component (check family histories)
– Tongue tied toddlers may have difficulties articulating “t, d, z, s, th, n and l” sounds, or develop delayed speech