A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that removes the frenulum; a small fold of tissue that prevents movement of the lips or tongue. This problem is commonly referred to as “lip tie” or “tongue tie.
A frenum or frenulum is a small “band” of tissue located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip and connecting the tongue, cheek or lip to the gums. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure to release these bands. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) typically performs a frenectomy to increase the range of motion of the tongue (removing the lingual frenum) or to assist closing a gap in a patient’s upper front teeth (removing the labial frenum). If untreated, excessive frena may allow gum tissue to be pulled away from adjacent teeth. This can lead to root exposure and periodontal problems. Frenectomies can be performed via scalpel, electrosurgery or laser surgery.
-American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development