The Frenum

The Frenum

What is a frenum?

Frenae are the small attachments from the lip or cheek that attach to the gums. They are attachments and do not support the lips or cheeks.

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Frenum in the mouth.

So, what is the problem with the frenum?

In the normal attachment position, they are necessary to the health of the mouth. There are two major problems:

  1. The pull is so strong that it pulls the normal gum away from the tooth. This may cause gum recession.
  2. There is a space between teeth (called a diastema) associated with a large frenum (most commonly in the upper front area). This usually keeps the space from closing.

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Gums being pulled away from the tooth by a strong frenum.

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Diastema (space between the teeth) caused by a large frenum.

How do we treat the frenum?

The frenum is treated by removing it, a procedure called a frenectomy. The frenum is detached from the gum and the normal surrounding gum tissue replaces it.

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The frenum is placed up higher and the space between the teeth is closed.