Adult Frenectomies: Addressing Lingering Oral Issues

Do you have restricted tongue or lip movement from overly tight frenum tissues? They can lead to speech impediments, dental problems, and discomfort. As an adult, you may benefit from a simple frenectomy procedure to release problematic frenum tissue in the mouth and improve function.


What are Frenectomies?


A frenectomy is a minor surgery that removes or loosens frenum tissue in the mouth. A frenum is like a tiny band that connects your lips, tongue, and cheeks to parts inside your mouth.


In babies, frenectomies treat tongue or lip ties to address breastfeeding difficulties. But frenum tissue not addressed in childhood can still cause issues later in life. Some reasons adults may need frenectomies include:


Speech Problems


A tongue, lip, or cheek frenum that is too tight can affect speech and cause lisping, gaps between words, or difficulty pronouncing certain letters like S, T, D, Z, and L. Releasing frenum tissue provides the tongue and lips greater mobility for clearer speech.


Oral Discomfort


Overly tense frenum tissue can sometimes cause pain while eating. It can also cause limited mobility when swallowing or moving the tongue. Frenectomies remove this tension for more oral comfort.


Gum Recession


An abnormal frenum attachment near the gumline can create problems as the frenum pulls on tissue. It may gradually cause a gingival recession. Removing problematic frenum fibers helps stabilize gum lines.


Tooth Gaps


A tight lip frenum often leaves a gap between the two front teeth. Releasing this frenum may allow the teeth to shift closer together over time and reduce the space naturally.


The Benefits of Adult Frenectomies


The simple procedure offers several benefits, such as:


  • Improved speech patterns

  • Greater oral mobility and comfort

  • Potential closure of dental gaps

  • Reduced risk of further gum recession

  • Short and relatively painless procedure

  • Rapid healing time of seven to 10 days


The Procedure


Two main techniques exist to release or remove tight frenum tissue in the mouth. These are:


Scalpel Frenectomy


The oral surgeon uses a scalpel to make an incision and cut out the frenum tissue. It leaves an open wound to heal through granulation.


Laser Frenectomy


A soft-tissue dental laser gently vaporizes and removes the frenum tissue without an incision, causing less bleeding and speeding up healing. Both procedures take only 10 to 15 minutes with local anesthesia. Lasers provide a more comfortable patient experience.


Recovery and Results


Initial healing takes about a week with proper oral care. Your doctor may recommend stretching and exercises after the procedure to retrain normal motion. Most patients enjoy the full benefit within a few weeks. While advanced cases could require a second pass, one frenectomy is often all that is necessary. The results are usually permanent, providing long-term relief.


Is a Frenectomy Right for You?


If tight frenum tissues are causing dental, speech, or comfort issues, see your dentist or oral surgeon. They can assess your situation and advise if releasing the tissue could help.


Bottom Line


Frenectomies are low risk and minimize disruption to everyday life. If you have lingering problems from restrictive frenum tissue, consult a dental professional about your options. The simple solution could improve your oral function for years. Do not hesitate to address problems that affect your oral health and quality of life.


For more information on adult frenectomies, visit Reaves Dental at our office in New Hartford, New York. Call (315) 736-0139 to schedule an appointment today.

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