Do you feel like your lips or tongue are restricting your ability to eat or speak? Your frenula may be the cause. In case you don’t know, your frenula are those thinly stretched pieces of flesh that connect your upper gums to your upper lip and your tongue to the floor of your mouth. If your frenula are too short, you may experience conditions called “lip tie” or “tongue-tie,” which can make it hard to move your mouth enough to eat and speak normally. If you or your child have one of these conditions you may also be more likely to develop gum recession, gapped teeth, cavities, and other conditions. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Jack O’Neill is extensively trained in soft tissue treatments. He can remove the tissue that’s restricting you in a procedure called a frenectomy.
A frenectomy is a straightforward yet effective soft tissue treatment that gives your lips and tongue a full, natural range of movement. Dr. O’Neill can perform two kinds of frenectomies—lingual (tongue) and maxillary (upper jaw)—on patients who are age 13 or older. For a lingual frenectomy he numbs the tongue before making an incision to detach the tongue from the floor of the mouth. With a maxillary labial frenectomy, Dr. O’Neill numbs the upper lip and upper gums before removing the frenulum that connects the two. Following these procedures, he sutures the incision site so that it can begin to heal. Both of them can usually be performed quickly in our Shreveport, LA office, enabling you or a family member to enjoy unrestricted eating or speaking in virtually no time at all!