Book a Free Appointment Tap to Call
Inner Banner


A frenectomy is a surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons. It involves the removal of a small fold of tissue called a frenum that connects the lips or tongue to the gum or the floor of the mouth. There are two main types of frenectomies:

  • Labial Frenectomy: This involves the removal of the labial frenum, which is the fold of tissue that connects the upper or lower lip to the gums. A labial frenectomy may be recommended when the frenum is too tight and causes issues such as a gap between the front teeth or impedes orthodontic treatment.
  • Lingual Frenectomy: This procedure involves the removal of the lingual frenum, which connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It is often done to correct a condition known as "tongue tie" (ankyloglossia), where the lingual frenum is unusually short or tight, limiting the range of motion of the tongue. This can impact speech and feeding in infants and may also cause issues later in life.

Frenectomies are typically relatively straightforward and are performed using local anesthesia to numb the area. They can be beneficial in cases where the frenum is causing functional or aesthetic problems, particularly in the field of orthodontics where proper alignment of teeth and jaw is crucial.

Labial Frenectomy:

  • Indications: This procedure is often performed when the labial frenum is too thick, too tight, or positioned too low on the gumline. These conditions can lead to a gap between the front teeth, known as a diastema, or cause orthodontic problems.
  • Procedure: The oral surgeon will begin by numbing the area with a local anesthetic. Then, they make a small incision to remove the excess tissue, followed by placing dissolvable stitches to close the wound. In some cases, a laser may be used for a less invasive procedure.
  • Recovery: Recovery is typically quick, with minimal discomfort. Patients may be advised to follow specific post-operative care instructions, including gentle oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods that could irritate the surgical site.

Lingual Frenectomy:

  • Indications: Lingual frenectomies are most commonly performed to address "tongue tie" (ankyloglossia), where the lingual frenum restricts the movement of the tongue. This condition can affect speech development, breastfeeding in infants, and may cause issues with tongue mobility in adults.
  • Procedure: Similar to a labial frenectomy, the procedure begins with local anesthesia to numb the area. The surgeon will then make an incision to release the tight lingual frenum, allowing for improved tongue movement.
  • Recovery: Recovery for lingual frenectomy is also relatively quick. Patients may be instructed to perform tongue exercises to promote proper tongue function after the procedure. In infants, immediate improvement in breastfeeding may be observed.

What is a tongue tie?

A tongue tie is when the piece of skin beneath a baby’s tongue is attached to the tongue. Most times, this piece of skin separates front the tongue’s front end before birth.

The diagnosis may be during the baby’s routine newborn check. However, it isn’t always easy to spot. It may become noticeable when the baby has feeding problems.

The normal functioning of the tongue is important for several reasons, such as allowing a baby to latch properly and breastfeed efficiently. It also promotes normal speech development and supports the child’s ability for the mouth to self-cleanse while eating. Normal tongue function encourages good swallowing patterns and proper development and growth, allowing the child to experience fun little things such as sticking out the tongue, playing a wind instrument or eating ice cream.

How tongue tie can cause speech difficulties

Speech production requires a complex system in the working of our mouth. It has several components, and articulation is one.

Articulation is how we produce sound by constricting the airflow in a certain way. Tongue teeth, lips, and the soft and hard palate are involved in articulation and are also the main structures of the oral cavity.

The tongue is an important articulator used in every speech production. If tongue movement becomes restricted due to a tie, several articulation errors will occur. As a child grows older little articulation areas that are still present may become a cause for concern. Sometimes, the tongue restriction may cause omitting certain speech sounds.

Depending on when a child’s tongue tie is discovered, some children may have found a compensating mechanism, meaning their muscles have adapted to produce sounds wrongly. This may cause neck tension, narrow palate, sinus infections and headaches.

Our experienced orthodontists at Kingston Orthodontics can assess your child and suggest whether a frenectomy is required for your child. Call us on 0203 002 2501 to book a consultation.


Spread the cost of any treatment

We are here to help you achieve the perfect – and affordable – smile so please talk to us about our popular interest-free payment plans. Spread the cost and relax – secure in the knowledge that your treatment will take place on time and on budget.