We spend a lot of time talking about the many ways a frenectomy can benefit infants and small children. However, we also know that adults can benefit immensely from this procedure! In fact, our very own Dr. Erica had an elective frenectomy because she was dealing with some uncomfortable TMJ issues. She also found out that she was swallowing improperly for her entire life!
Frenectomies weren’t nearly as common several decades ago as they are today, which means a lot of adults are living with a tongue-tie that they don’t even realize they have. Most people don’t even realize how much it’s impacting their life. It’s not just about the speech issues!
Let’s go over a few of the ways an elective frenectomy can benefit you as an adult.
Benefit #1 – Decrease Neck and Shoulder Tension
There are so many issues that seem like they’re be unrelated to a tongue-tie, and this is one of them! Shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches can all be traced back to the muscles under your tongue. This part of the mouth has many connections to other nearby muscle groups. When there’s tightness in the tongue, we almost always find tension in the neck and shoulder muscles as well.
Something else that’s interesting; people with tongue ties tend to tilt their head down and forward, which can strain your neck muscles over time. An elective frenectomy can fix these issues almost immediately!
Benefit #2 – Sleep and Breathe Better
There are several sleep issues related to tongue tie in adults. The most common ones are nasal breathing and heavy snoring. Adults with tongue ties also tend to have an open mouth posture (a.k.a. they’re mouth breathers). This means sleep is harder, and sleep apnea can become a real concern.
When you breathe through your nose, the air has a chance to get filtered, moisturized and humidified before entering the lungs where it becomes oxygenated and dispersed to other parts of the body. Mouth breathing skips this entire process, which can take a toll on the entire body.
Benefit #3 – Get a Healthier Smile
Tongue-ties that are left untreated can cause some dental issues down the road. Did you know our tongues help keep our teeth clean? They encourage saliva production, which helps neutralize the acids in our mouth before they start damaging the enamel on our teeth. A limited range of motion due to a tongue tie might mean more decay and cavities, especially the molars.
Additionally, the lack of muscle movement under the tongue can cause other muscles to have to over-compensate. This can lead to a protrusion of the lower jaw,
Benefit #4 – Swallow Easier
People who opt for an elective frenectomy as an adult are often most amazed at how it changes their ability to swallow! The procedure allows you to rest your tongue comfortably on the roof of your mouth while you’re taking a drink, rather than having to lower it completely with each gulp.
Learning how to swallow all over again as an adult may take a little bit of time. Your best bet is to work with someone who is trained in oral myofunctional therapy (OMT), a type of physical therapy that helps to reprogram the tongue and muscles in and around the mouth.
While elective frenectomies aren’t for everyone, they can make a positive impact on your life if you’re really struggling in one of the above areas. At Inspire Dental Wellness, we perform frenectomies on all ages, including adults. Dr. Erica works closely with Speech Language Pathologists who do oral myofunctional therapy to prepare kids and adults for lingual frenectomies. She also performs labial frenectomies whenever needed, no therapy required.
To learn more, give our office a call at 708-435-2858 and we’ll happily answer any questions you may have!