Problems with the short piece of skin that anchors the underside of your tongue, the frenulum, are usually handled when you’re an infant or toddler due to noticeable feeding issues or speech impediments. However, many children with what’s known as a tongue tie make it into adulthood without surgery yet still experience plenty of problems due to the restricted movement of their tongue. Going in for an elective frenectomy performed by your dentist can help you fix these five common problems that plague adults with an over-sized frenulum.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain and soreness in your jaw, along with a clicking sensation as you open and shut your mouth, the problem may not lie with a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as is most commonly diagnosed. A tight frenulum causes adults to develop different talking and chewing patterns to compensate that can lead to this kind of pain over the years. If you’re already receiving TMJ treatment and it isn’t helping, ask your doctor to check your frenulum and you may be just one quick surgery away from permanent pain relief.
Tight frenulums make it difficult for infants to latch onto a nipple or bottle, but it can interfere with adult eating as well. The tongue must move freely in your mouth to automatically push food towards your esophagus as you chew. When the tongue is limited in how much it can move, you’ll experience difficulty swallowing because food isn’t moving on the normal path. This can lead to malnutrition, especially if you start avoiding certain foods because the texture makes it difficult to properly swallow. Even if you’re just missing out on the enjoyment of eating, that’s a worthwhile reason to undergo a frenectomy.
Since food doesn’t move as quickly through the mouth as usual, a frenulum issue is often linked to poor oral hygiene and health in adults. Food particles stick around longer as well because you can’t use the tip of your tongue to clean the molars and gaps between them after a meal. While you can definitely overcome this issue just by taking more care to rinse after you eat, it’s far easier to simply have the frenulum issue fixed instead. Increased oral mobility also makes it easier to reach the lower teeth for thorough brushing and flossing without the tongue getting in the way.
Most adults that did not have their frenulum addressed as toddlers managed to learn how to speak around the limitations of their tongue as not to develop a noticeable speech impediment. However, a lack of tongue movement makes it very difficult to remain audible and easy to understand when you’re talking at a lower or higher volume than normal. This can make it very difficult to give presentations at work or become a public speaker. Of course, if you do have a speech impediment because of your frenulum, it will take time and training to correct. Don’t expect to get immediate results from the surgery since your speech patterns are learned behaviors that you must practice to change.
Finally, loosening up that tight tongue can change your love life for the better. Many adults who don’t enjoy French kissing or who feel like they’re not skilled at it are simply facing physical limitations that can be corrected. Even a little bit of excess tightness in the frenulum makes it tricky to kiss, play a wind instrument, or do any other activities that require your tongue tip and lips to work in unison. Just because a frenulum issue was not severe enough to need correction while you were young doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the surgery now. You can click here to read more.Read More