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We have several labial frenulums. The folds of mucous membrane that hold the lips to the gums are called superior and inferior (mandibular) labial frenulums. Just like with the lingual frenulum, they guide growth. In the case of the labial frenulums, the positioning and thickness of the frenulum affect the growth of the teeth. Hyperplasic labial frenulums can cause the teeth to have a gap between them or in some cases prevent the growth of a tooth. This is called a diastema, or gap tooth. Some people love their gap and some hate it, sign of beauty or detraction.... you decide. Some gap toothed celebs are Lauren Hutton, Ted Turner, and David Letterman.

One thing that helps to close a diastema is a frenectomy. This is a more involved surgery than a frenotomy (a simple clipping of the lingual frenulum). Frenectomy means removal of the frenulum and caution needs to be taken to leave the the papilla between the front teeth .

For us female types there is also the labial frenulum south of the vagina. The posterior ends of the labia minora and the labia majora join creating a raised ridge of skin, this is the frenulum of the labia or posterior fourchette. This is the area commonly cut during an episiotomy - a procedure best avoided if possible, but that’s another node.


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