A frenum is a naturally occurring muscle or fiber attachment, normally seen between the front teeth of both the upper and lower jaw. While the frenum connects the inner aspect of the lip with the gum, it does not “hold” the lip in place or impact the muscles associated with your smile. A lack of attached gingiva, in conjunction with a high (closer to the biting surface) frenum attachment, which exaggerates the pull on the gum margin, can result in recession. Additionally, an excessively large frenum can prevent the teeth from coming together resulting in a gap between the front teeth. If pulling is seen or the frenum is too large to allow the teeth to come together, the frenum can be surgically released from the gum with a frenectomy.

When orthodontic treatment (braces) is planned or initiated, the removal of an abnormal frenum, with or without a gingival graft, can increase stability and improve success of the final orthodontic result.