A frenum is a fold of tissue found between the front teeth attached to the upper lip or under the tongue.
A frenum has no purpose and removing one causes no loss of function. A frenectomy is done when a frenum is too tight, in the wrong place or otherwise causes problems. In most cases, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs the surgery. Some people have a tight frenum under the tongue. This may prevent the tongue from moving freely. The
condition is called tongue tie or ankyloglossia. Tongue tie may interfere with feeding in infants. Later, it can cause problems as a child learns to talk. Sometimes a frenum is attached between the upper front teeth (incisors). This may cause problems when a child's permanent teeth come in around age 6 or 7. The teeth may not be able to come in, or there may be a gap between them. Less often, a frenum inside the lower lip may pull the gum away from the lower front teeth (incisors). This may result in gum problems. A frenum also can interfere with the fit of a denture. This may occur anywhere in the mouth. However, it is seen more often on the sides of either the top or bottom jaw.