Are you developing a gap between your front teeth? Does your child have trouble while breastfeeding? A frenectomy could be the solution. It is a simple, minimally invasive surgical procedure that releases a band of tissue called the frenum in the oral cavity. An abnormal frenum can lead to a wide array of developmental and cosmetic concerns.

A frenectomy performed by the dentist in Grand Haven, MI, can successfully help you or your child overcome the challenges of an abnormal frenum to improve the quality of life.  

What is a frenectomy?

A frenectomy or frenulectomy is an oral surgery that treats lip-tie or tongue-tie. It involves the modification of the frenum or frenulum, which is a band of connective tissue that joins your lips to your gums or your tongue to the floor of the mouth.

A frenum that is too short or too tight can cause oral health problems and may negatively impact your speech. In babies, it can be quite challenging during breastfeeding and swallowing. 

There are two main types of oral frenectomies, namely:

  • Lingual frenectomy: Correct tongue-ties that remove the vertical band of tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth.
  • Labial frenectomy: Correct lip-ties to remove the band of tissue that connects your upper gums to your front teeth.

When is a frenectomy necessary?

There are several reasons why frenectomy is necessary for you or your child. Your dentist may recommend this procedure to correct an abnormal frenum that is causing:

  • A lip-tie, limiting your lip movement 
  • A tongue-tie, limiting your tongue’s range of motion
  • Diastema (space or gaps between your teeth) that are aesthetically displeasing
  • Gum recession that causes increased tooth sensitivity and mobility
  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness while brushing

How is a frenectomy performed?

Before proceeding with the procedure, your dentist will record your medical history and discuss the type of sedation required. 


  • The infant will be given a general anesthetic.
  • The dentist will remove the frenum with a pair of scissors and a scalpel (surgical blade).
  • The procedure may take around 15 to 20 minutes. 

Older children and adults:

  • Your dentist usually numbs your tissue around the frenulum with local anesthesia.
  • The tissue will be cut and removed using a scalpel. 
  • Sutures may be placed to close the incision.
  • The entire procedure may usually take around 30 to 40 minutes. 


If you or your child have a lip-tie or a tongue tie that has been interfering with function and quality of life, talk to your dental specialist to see if a frenectomy is right for you.