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Q. Is frenectomy a major surgical procedure?

Answered by
Dr. Beryl Fredrick
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 01, 2020

Hi doctor,

I went for a regular dental cleaning today and the periodontist is strongly recommending local surgery to remove some muscle between my lower lip and gum. He scheduled it as a frenectomy and insists it needs to be done to prevent further gum loss as he says the muscle is above the gum and not below where it should be and is pulling at the gums. He says its a 30 minutes procedure.

I needed some advice on what to expect in terms of what the process will be? What to expect on the day and after? How painful it is likely to be? And whether it is likely to cause any sort of facial deformity?

The periodontist insists it will not be painful as I will be on anesthetic measure, but I could really use a second opinion as I am not finding much online regarding this process. Would it be advisable to get it done or should I refuse to go for it? Please also advise on what to expect. The periodontist recommended taking three days off work which has scared me a little about how big procedure this is compared to what he is telling me?



Welcome to

I have gone through your query and understand your concern.

If you pull down your lower lip, you will see a small stretch of muscle connecting your lip to the gums just below your lower front teeth. This small flap of skin and muscle is called the frenulum. Frenectomy is a minor surgery that removes this small bit of tissue. This procedure is advised if the frenum is highly attached to the gums. It constantly pulls our gums down on every lip movement. This leads to premature gum recession and early tooth loss. This process will be much faster especially in the lower tooth because they are the smallest tooth and have little gums surrounding them.

On the day of the procedure, the frenulum and the gums surrounding it will be anesthetized and the highly attached frenulum will be gently snipped and the remaining tissues will be repositioned and sutured. This will be a minor procedure after which you will be put under antibiotics and painkillers for the next three days.

The next three days to a week will be your healing period during which, it is better you avoid or limit talking and lip movements. You can take three days off so to facilitate easy healing. These three days off is not because of the procedure but because of the sensitivity of those small muscles which is in the process of healing. This will not cause any major changes to your facial and lip structure.

If your frenulum is causing lower gum recession, I recommend you to get frenectomy done soon to prevent future gum recession and tooth loss.

I hope this clears all your concerns.

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