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Oral Surgery/frenulum tear!


Hi! My name is Billy. I'm 24 and I am really worried about my torn upper lip frenulum! It was around June 2015 when I was brushing my teeth and I suddenly loses the grip of my toothbrush and it hit very hard against my upper lip frenulum! I was in extreme pain and blood was spilling everywhere and I noticed the tip that was supposed to be attached to my upper lip was snap! I went to see my doctor and he said no need to worried about it, it will heal itself but up until now it is still not healed!  In odd position sometimes I can feel a little fatigue when my upper jaw hang freely due to gravity! I m really scare and would like to have some advise from some expert! Sorry for my bad English as I m not a native speaker!

Billy - the upper frenulum is considered a vestigial attachment of the upper lip to the upper jaw.  In historic times, when facial expression was much more than how humans use it now.  Historic humans, homo sapiens, did much more with their facial expressions than we do now.  Our vocal expression decrease the need for dramatic facial expressions. For that reason, the upper frenulum is not critical at all, and in fact, young children occasionally have their frenulum between the two front upper teeth.  This keeps the front teeth apart and makes them more prone to periodontal problems.  For this reason, young children with the frenulum from the upper lip that goes between or minimally invades the space between the two upper front teeth have the frenulum excised to allow the teeth to come together.  

If the torn frenulum you now have bothers you in any way, it is a simple procedure for an oral surgeon to excise it.  The procedure takes no more than 10 minutes for a knowledgeable oral surgeon.  

So don't worry unless the hanging frenum "gets in your way" or is just annoying.  If so, have it removed by a surgeon.  Your facial appearance will not change in anyway as in modern humans it serves a minimal purpose.

If you should have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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