At the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit, we often educate parents about the benefits of getting a frenectomy (tongue tie release) for their children. However, it’s not just children that benefit from a frenectomy. If you have tongue tie as an adult, you can still benefit from getting a frenectomy. For an adult, a frenectomy can mean:

  • More success with orthodontic treatment
  • Relief from TMJ pain and related symptoms
  • Better breathing
  • Clearer speech
  • Better enjoyment of food
  • Improved oral health
  • Better overall health

These benefits make a frenectomy a great choice for adults as well as children.

Orthodontics Benefit from Frenectomy

Your tongue helps encourage the growth of your mouth. As part of this, it also encourages your teeth to move into their healthy, straight position in your dental arch. People with tongue ties often develop crooked teeth, not to mention a narrow mouth (more on this later).

Getting tongue tie release allows your tongue to play its vital role in encouraging your teeth to space themselves out in a straight arch. Having a free tongue can help you achieve and maintain straight teeth.

At our Lee’s Summit dental office, we recommend frenectomy to help improve results from orthodontic treatment.

Enjoy Relief from Head and Neck Pain

It’s easy to think of the tongue as operating independently of other muscles in the head and neck. However, the tongue often plays a vital role in the jaw system. If you have tongue tie, your tongue can’t freely perform its role in the jaw system. This means that other muscles have to take up the slack, which can put them under significant strain.

This can result in many symptoms that we commonly associate with temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ or TMD). While there are many potential TMJ symptoms, most people find that pain is the most recognizable symptom. People with tongue tie might experience:

  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Earaches

A frenectomy can release your tongue so it can perform more of its role in jaw motions and supporting the head and neck. This can help reduce discomfort over time. However, some people might need additional treatment from a Lee’s Summit TMJ dentist to see full relief.

Frenectomies Lead to Better Breathing

Your tongue position has a direct impact on your ability to breathe. Tongue tie might keep your tongue from moving out of the way of your airway. This can make your airway narrow, making it harder to breathe. You might notice that you tend to breathe through your mouth during the day.

At night, your tongue might tend to fall back and close off your airway. If your tongue partly closes your airway while you sleep, it can result in loud snoring. If your tongue fully closes off your airway, the result is obstructive sleep apnea.

Tongue tie release frees your tongue up to move out of the airway to make breathing easier both day and night.

In addition, tongue ties might lead to poor mouth development, as we mentioned earlier. This doesn’t just narrow your mouth, it narrows your airway, which reduces your ability to breathe freely. In this case, simply releasing your tongue is only part of the solution. Our Lee’s Summit dentists might also recommend holistic orthodontic treatment to expand your airway for better breathing during the day and night.

Clearer Speech

Speech is one of your tongue’s most important functions. Your tongue needs to be able to move freely to fulfill this function properly. Our Lee’s Summit dentists often help people who report difficulty with a lisp, have trouble speaking loudly or have trouble making sounds such as “T,” “D,” “Z,” “S,” “Th,” “R,” or “L.”

Tongue tie release can make it easier for you to make these sounds, speak without a lisp, and speak loudly. Sometimes, though, you might want speech therapy to help you reach your clear speech goals.

Better Enjoyment of Food

Everyone knows that your tongue is important to your sense of taste. However, the function of your tongue in eating goes far beyond that. Your tongue helps you chew your food by pushing food into your teeth so it can be broken down. Without a freely moving tongue, it’s harder to chew your food, and you’re more likely to have large chunks of food that are hard to swallow. You might choke more often.

In addition, you won’t be able to enjoy the flavor of foods as much if your tongue can’t freely interact with them.

Getting a frenectomy from a Lee’s Summit dentist can help free your tongue to participate in chewing.

Improved Oral Health

Your tongue doesn’t stop working once you finish swallowing your last bite. Instead, your tongue moves around your mouth, helping to clean food residue off your teeth. If you have tongue tie, your tongue might not be able to clean your teeth very well. This can lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease.

Getting a frenectomy can lead to more “all clear” checkups at your Lee’s Summit dentist.

Better Overall Health

Clearly, having a fully functional and free tongue can make a big difference in your overall health. It can help you breathe better all day long, eat a better variety of healthy foods, and enjoy better oral health. Plus, with the potential for pain relief and clearer speech, you can enjoy a better quality of life.

All of these benefits can make life better thanks to a simple frenectomy.

Considering a Frenectomy in Lee’s Summit?

If you have tongue tie and experience just a few of the potential problems above, you can see how much benefit you will get from a frenectomy. To talk to our dentists about a frenectomy, please call (816) 795-1000 or email the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit. Just take the 83rd Street exit (Exit 11) from 470.