In some cases, our pediatric dentists and team may recommend that your child receive a frenectomy in Bluffton, South Carolina, to improve the function of his or her smile. Frenectomies are a quick procedure in which Dr. Shane Harpham or Dr. Sarah Boyles removes or modifies the frenulum in the mouth if it is too thick or short. There are two varieties of the procedure, lingual frenectomy and labial frenectomy.

Lingual Frenectomy
The lingual frenulum connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and when that muscle is too short or thick, it can cause ankyloglossia, more commonly known as tongue-tie. If our team determines that your child’s lingual frenulum isn’t properly developed, we may recommend that he or she get a lingual frenectomy, where our team will remove or modify the frenulum. If left untreated, this condition can prevent proper speaking and eating. For some children, it can result in speech impediments due to the child being unable to properly extend and retract the tongue while speaking.
This condition is often noted in babies, as a tongue-tie can result in the baby being unable to properly breastfeed. Although some tongue-tied babies can breastfeed without issue, many experience difficulties, which can negatively impact the child and mother. For the child, it can result in irritability, poor weight gain, bad digestion or a refusal to breastfeed. The mother may notice additional soreness and discomfort throughout the breastfeeding process.
A frenectomy, may be beneficial to help your child improve their ability to eat and speak properly from infancy through adulthood.

Labial Frenectomy
The labial frenulum connects the top lip to the gums above the upper front teeth. If the labial frenulum is too thick or is improperly developed, it can result in a lip-tie. During this procedure, our team will carefully remove the frenulum in that area.

Although a tongue-tie is noticed as young as infancy, the lip-tie often doesn’t become a problem until the child is older. The large muscle between the front teeth can eventually cause recession in the gums and contribute to developing a gap between the front teeth. Left untreated, the labial frenulum can be problematic for children who will be seeking orthodontic care.

If you are interested in one of these treatments, call Sea Smiles Pediatric Dentistry at 843-815-5437 to learn more and determine if this treatment is right for your child.