The small band of muscle fibers hidden under the lip is called the frenum. In some people, the frenum develops too close to the teeth. When that happens, chewing or even smiling, causes the frenum to pull on the gum line. This can lead to recession of the gum. It can also promote the formation of a gap between the front teeth.


Correcting the frenum actually works to keep the teeth together and helps guard against teeth shifting. This is especially important in people who have had braces.The frenectomy procedure takes about 15 minutes. The area is first made numb with local anesthetic. The muscle attachment is then snipped and sutured into place at a level further away from the gumline.


While some soreness is possible when the anesthetic wears off, most patients return to normal activities almost immediately. This is one of the easiest periodontal procedures to have done.


We usually place a protective covering over the area. There are no dietary restrictions after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medication (Tylenol or Advil) is usually all that is needed for a day or so. The success rate of the procedure is extremely high and the need for retreatment is almost non-existent.