FRENUM INTRODUCTION AND BASICS OF GUM REPAIR
A frenum (or frenulum) is the term given to a small fold of tissue located at various parts in the mouth. The frenum is a small ligament which attaches a muscle to the gum tissue. These frenum may be attached too close to the gum margin and pull on the tissue causing or worsening recession.
CAUSES YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF
The most common source of injury or damage to the frenum comes from foreign materials and devices put into the mouth. Braces and dentures can rub against the tissue of the mouth and cause ulcers, sores, and bleeding. Aggressive brushing can also damage the frenum and cause problems that lead to the need for gum repair.
Some frenum tissue structures are larger than others, may be too big, or connect too well or not well enough. All of these abnormalities can cause problems with things like eating and talking. For example, if a patient is “tongue tied” most often they have an unusually short, thick lingual frenum. It restricts the movement of the tongue and keeps it anchored to the floor of the mouth too much.
SOLUTIONS AND TREATMENTS
Issues with oral frenum tissue can be difficult to detect because dental devices may feel comfortable at first. Braces may not feel too bad and dentures may feel like they are fitting well. However, as the patient speaks and their tongue moves around, the frenum can get very irritated and ulcerated.
Unfortunately, this dynamic movement can be difficult to capture with x-rays and other imaging processes. Careful observation of the frenum, routine teeth and gum checkups, and consultations with the dental team are the best ways to detect issues before major injury or damage occurs.