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What It’s Used For?

A frenum has no significant purpose aside from securing or restricting the movement of a mobile organ in the body. A frenectomy procedure is performed when a frenum is diagnosed as being too tight or short, too thick, in the wrong place, or otherwise causes problems. In most cases, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a specialized dentist performs the surgery.

Some people have a tight frenum under the tongue. This may prevent the tongue from moving freely. The condition is called tongue-tie or ankyloglossia. Tongue-tie may interfere with feeding in infants. Later, it can cause problems as a child learns to talk.

Sometimes a frenum is attached between the upper front teeth (incisors). This may cause problems when a child’s permanent teeth come in around age 6 or 7. The teeth may not be able to come in, or there may be a gap between them.

Less often, a frenum inside the lower lip may pull the gum away from the lower front teeth (incisors). This may result in gum problems such as recession.

A frenum also can interfere with the fit of a denture. This may occur anywhere in the mouth. However, it is seen more often on the sides of either the top or bottom jaw.