What Is a Frenum?

In your mouth there are two frenums:

  • Lingual frenum:Connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
  • Labial frenum:Connects the lips to the gums.

Sometimes these small bands of tissue can be too short, too thick, or too tight, or be positioned too far down and cause a variety of issues.


  • A tongue-tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. Tongue-ties may be moderate, resulting in only small inconveniences like not being able to lick an ice cream cone. In some cases, however, they cause severe impairments such as:
  • Difficulty nursing as an infant and eating later in life
  • Speech impediments
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Tongue thrust and bite misalignment

Lip-Tie Cause

A lip-tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The possible complications of a lip-tie are somewhat similar to those who are tongue-tied. An overgrown labial frenum can:

  • Cause pain and discomfort
  • Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
  • Complicate nursing
  • Lead to periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Result in misaligned teeth and bite (usually gap teeth)


A frenectomy is the process in which a frenum is removed. An oral frenectomy surgery usually involves either surgical scissors or a scalpel. The procedure does differ depending on the age of the patient. For babies less than 12 weeks old, usually a scalpel will be used. Once the surgery has been performed the infant will be able to start breastfeeding almost immediately. For children and adults, the process will require stitches and a healing period of roughly 3 weeks.

If you’re concerned about a possible lip-tie or tongue-tie in your child, contact us at Specialist Kids Dentist and schedule an appointment or visit us at our Liverpool or Summer Hill clinic. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions and together, we’ll determine the best way to move forward!