Are you tongue-tied?  The dental term is ankyloglossia, describing when the lingual frenum, a muscular attachment connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too tight, resulting in restricted movement of the tongue.  A frenectomy is a very common minor surgical procedure that may help in a couple of ways:

  • To improve eating difficulty.
  • To allow speaking properly.

Another type of frenectomy is to release a labial frenum, the muscular tissue connecting the inside of the upper lip to the center of the gums above the front teeth by using sterile scissors to snip the frenulum free.   The usual reasons are to correct a gap between the two center front teeth, to get the proper fit of dentures, or eliminate pain.  There are several benefits:

  • It reduces oral discomfort.
  • It improves facial appearance by eliminating a gap between the two upper front teeth.
  • It promotes self-confidence.
  • It enhances bite function.
  • It stabilizes dentures among denture users.

The lingual frenulum may loosen over time, resolving tongue-tie without surgery.  In addition, because the gap between the upper front teeth may be eliminated during the growth of permanent teeth, dentists will usually recommend waiting until the permanent upper front teeth are fully grown before considering the surgical treatment.  When this has not happened, braces can be used to correct the gap, and then if braces are unable to correct the large gap, a labial frenectomy can be performed.  A labial frenectomy should be avoided until the gap is closed, because the procedure can cause scar tissue to form, then making it impossible to close the space between the upper two front teeth.

Another problem the labial frenum can cause is pulling the gums up off the jaw bone, and this can also be corrected by a frenectomy.

Sometimes a frenectomy is needed to remove a section of tissue that is attached to the gingival tissue between two teeth.

If you are interested in frenulectomy in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.