What should one know about lip frenulum?
Most people have no idea about lip frenulum. What does it look like? Where is it located? Lip frenulum is a thin strip of skin connecting lips with the jaw. Such frenula are specific folds of the mucous membrane of the mouth cavity going along the inner side of the center line of the lip. If the size of the folds is proportional, the lip completely covers the teeth. Lip frenulum must remain moveable to successfully perform its functions.
Some people have a shortened lip frenulum. This defect can interfere with normal functioning of the lip. We should mention that the causes of shortened lip frenulum are presently unknown. Shortened lip frenulum is considered to be a birth defect.
Shortened lip frenulum does not affect the quality of life of small children. At this period of life this defect is not even seen. It does not affect the development of childs facial skeleton.
That is why it is recommended to postpone treatment of shortened lip frenulum until after the exfoliation. This is the time when a person with shortened lip frenulum can experience some difficulties. As soon as the central upper cutting teeth erupt the frenulum wedges in between these teeth. Even if a child has well-ordered teeth, shortened lip frenulum can cause diastema a chink between the front teeth. However, diastema is only a cosmetic defect. Shortened lip frenulum can be the cause of more serious problems. Low fastening of the lip frenulum creates heavy load on teeth. It will consequently cause thinning of the bone tissue. That is why older people often suffer parodontosis.
There is only one possible way to treat shortened lip frenulum. Operative intervention is usually prescribed. Still, operative intervention is not indicated unless the dentist says otherwise. There is one more important thing about treatment of lip frenulum. It can be started only after all upper side cutting teeth have erupted.
Lip plasty is carried out in the outpatient setting under local anesthesia. The surgeon will excise the mucous fold and suture the wound. The surgery will not take more than 20 minutes. You will not even have to remove the suture as it will disappear on itself. Lip plasty can be carried out with the help of a laser scalpel. In this case the patient can undergo the procedure without any anesthesia at all. Moreover, heeling will take less time.
It is worth mentioning that lip plasty is only the first step of a thorough orthodontic treatment. The thing is that the dentist will also have to remove diastema caused by the shortened lip frenulum. Orthodontic treatment can be continued only after all stitches on the lip frenulum are heeled. It is possible to postpone such treatment for a long time but mind that treatment of older people takes more time and effort.