Frenums are membraneous folds of skin or membranes that support or restrict the movement of a part or organ. There are several frenums in the oral cavity; with the maxillary labial frenum (found on the underside of the upper lip), mandibular labial frenum (found on the underside of the lower lip) and the lingual frenum (found on the underside of the tongue) being the most prominent. If one of the frenums are restricted, cascading health effects may follow. Therefore, early detection, treatment, and management are key. Unfortunately, these oral anomalies are often overlooked in the clinical and medical settings. Therefore, I wrote this article with a colleague of mine, to raise awareness of the importance of early frenum restriction, identification, and all of the health effects associated with them if not addressed. Enclosed within the article are also some post operative wound care exercises that must be followed through post frenectomy.
The primary function of these frenums is to keep the lips and tongue in harmony with the growing bones of the mouth during development. They play a critical role in breastfeeding, the development of the orofacial structures, the swallow, speech, posture and more. In the event of a frenum restriction, the person must undergo a minor surgical procedure known as a frenectomy. Post operative, it is imperative to follow through with proper stretches and exercises, in order to prevent reattachment, provide kinesthetic awareness, and promote orofacial balance. Enjoy!