Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ever wonder about that gap between my front teeth?

My daughter asked me about the space between my front teeth, and I was at a loss. I didn't know the names and terminology to explain what the procedure was that was done to me as a child. Today I did the research. Here's more than you ever wanted to know:

"The Labial Frenum is a little tag of tissue in the center of the upper and the lower lip that attaches the lip to the gums. It too is not especially useful, and sometimes causes orthodontic or periodontal problems if the attachment on the gums is too close to the teeth. If it becomes a problem, we usually simply cut it. This is most often done on children if the attachment of the frenum is too "high" and causes a diastema (space) between the adult teeth. The procedure is called a "frenectomy". An interesting thing to note is that a glancing blow to the face will generally rip this structure, and a ripped labial frenum, in combination with other "recurrent" bodily injuries is considered to be a legal indication of child abuse."

(Source: http://www.doctorspiller.com/oral%20anatomy.htm)
I had the labial frenum removed as a child at my mother's insistance. While I was recovering from the procedure, another child hit me in the face with a stick and knocked my stitches out. I bled for hours and was finally taken to the hospital. I remember another long wait at the hospital while we waited for a dentist to be called in. To this day I have a gap between my 2 front teeth. A year or two later, I fell on the playground and injured those front teeth. One tooth was chipped, and the other later needed a root canal. So yeah, that small area of my face has taken some damage.

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