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A frenulum (or frenum, plural: frenula or frena, from the Latin frēnulum, "little bridle", the diminutive of frēnum) is a small fold of tissue that secures or restricts the motion of a mobile organ in the body.
In human anatomy
- Brain: Frenulum veli
- Digestive tract: frenulum valvae ileocaecalis
- Oral tissue: Frenula of the mouth include the frenulum linguae under the tongue, the frenulum labii superioris inside the upper lip, the frenulum labii inferioris inside the lower lip, and the buccal frena which connect the cheeks to the gum. These can easily be torn by violent blows to the face or mouth, thus a torn frenulum is sometimes a warning sign of physical abuse.
- Penile tissue: The word frenulum on its own is often used for the frenulum of prepuce of penis or frenulum preputii penis, which is an elastic band of tissue under the glans penis that connects to the prepuce, or foreskin to the vernal mucosa, and helps contract the prepuce over the glans.
- Vulvular tissue: In females, genital frenula include the frenulum clitoridis of the clitoris and the frenulum labiorum pudendi (aka fourchette) where the labia minora meet at the back.