The frenulum or frenum is a muscle underneath the upper lip that anchors the upper lip to the gums. It also helps raise the lip to expose your teeth when you smile. Some of us have an unusually strong frenulum that causes our lip to rise so much that even our gums are exposed when we smile!
A tight frenulum can keep the upper lip elevated even at rest. While this can cause cosmetic concern because of a “toothy” or “gummy” smile, it can also cause functional problems. In an developing child, the upper lip must make contact with the lower lip so that the teeth and jaw “learn” to grow symmetrically. When this doesn’t happen, it can result in orthodontic issues. In addition, dental, gingival, and periodontal disease can occur when there is disruption of normal salivary distribution in the mouth.
To correct a gummy smile for aesthetic and/or functional concerns, Dr. Yagoda lowers the upper lip by relaxing the frenum. Depending on the individual, she might use an injectable neurotoxin such as Botox, surgery, or some combination of both.
From Quebec to Qatar, Dr. Yagoda’s patients come to New York City from all over the world. Find out how we can help you get here from abroad.