Back to Top

Lingual Frenectomy

Tied tongue / Lingual Frenectomy

What is a Tongue Tie?

A frenum is a fold of tissue or muscle that connects the lips, cheek or tongue to the jawbone.  The band of tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is called the lingual frenum, while the band connecting the lip to the gum in front of the teeth is called the labial frenum.  A frenectomy is a procedure to remove one of these folds of tissue.  


An unusually thick, large or tight lingual frenum can seriously constrict the movement of the tongue-- this condition is called "tongue-tie," and is, in fact, the source of the metaphorical phrase. The lingual frenum may also pull so strongly on the middle of the tongue that the tongue acquires a heart shape. An unusually short range of tongue extension may indicate the need for a lingual frenectomy.

  • Children who are tongue-tied may have difficulty breastfeeding as infants, and may later develop speech problems.
  • When your child begins talking, usually at 12 to18 months, you may notice that he or she is having problems with speech.
  • Some older children or teenagers may notice that the frenum under their tongue becomes stuck between their front teeth. Or they may not be able to stick their tongue out as far as their friends can.
  • Your dentist may notice that a frenum is pulling the gum away from the lower front teeth. This can cause periodontal (gum) problems.

Frenectomy Surgical Procedures

Prior to Frenectomy surgery the oral surgeon will explains the procedures involved, including risks, benefits and price. Patients may have their questions answered for understanding of frenectomy surgery before consenting to treatment.

Preparatory procedures include provision of local anaesthetic for pain-free surgery and Intravenous Sedation treatment where necessary, such as for dental phobia to provide the patient with greater relaxation during surgery.

Frenectomy procedures used to remove or alter the frenum may be with soft tissue laser or a dental scalpel. Laser frenectomy eliminates the need for stitches, reduces bleeding and allows for faster recovery. Frenectomy surgery duration is approximately half an hour and patients soon recover within a fortnight.

Post-Frenectomy Surgery Care

Patients usually recover from frenectomy surgery within an approximate period of two weeks. This depends on the patient's health condition and healing rate.

Careful cleaning around the frenum treatment site is advised. However, patients are encouraged to continue healthy oral hygiene such as teeth brushing and flossing.

Risks and Benefits of Frenectomy Surgery

All surgical procedures have inherent risks such as bleeding, bruising, infection, nerve damage, swelling, scarring, pain and discomfort. Frenectomy surgery may include these risks. Oral Surgeons are qualified and experienced to reduce such risks.

In some cases, the frenum tissue may redevelop requiring repeated surgery. Repeated labial frenectomy is less common than repeated lingual frenectomy. Laser frenectomy requires no sutures and patients usually experience less bleeding and discomfort with quicker recovery time.

Tingling or numb sensations may be experienced at and around the treatment site should accidental nerve damage occur. Patients should immediately inform their oral surgeon or dentist.

While risks are posed by frenectomy surgery the benefits patients receive vastly enhance their quality of life. Having stable dentures reduces oral discomfort, allows for better chewing ability and facilitates normal communication.