It is all about airway! Oxygen is our lifeline, we can only last a few seconds without it. As a dental professional what do I see or ask me as a myofunctional specialist and I can tell you more! As a dental hygienist I would see stained teeth, demineralization, and rotated teeth (#g left lateral is shifted lingually-distal). Now as a myofunctional specialist I would see this and ask mom right away, how does this child sleep? Night terrors? Hard time getting to bed? Restless sleeper? Snoring? Wake up during night? Bed wetting? Is the child tired during the day? Lack of focus in school? Hyperactive or behavior outburst? Why would I ask all these questions, because look at the back of the mouth, the airway is blocked BIG TIME by enlarged tonsils, class 4 (touching), also the soft palate arch is low, mallampatti 3 (low soft palate).
This airway is getting as much oxygen as you would if you drink a milkshake with a coffee straw!!! The airway is compromised and needs to be addressed immediately.
As for the answers to the above questions were all yes! Below are some questions, multiple Yes, seek myofunctional specialist for guidance, immediately!
Root cause, how did this happen? Beginning with a newborn tongue tie release due to breastfeeding difficulties. However, there was no guidance from the surgeon for post op care or stretching exercises to make sure reattachment did not occur. No follow up visit after healing to make sure the procedure was successful. Unfortunately many tongue tie infants, children, and adults are getting release without any pre and post op stretches. This is how you get the best results for healing and learning how to move the new freedom of the tongue muscles around. I recommend pre and post op care in every tongue tie release. Pre and post op care with myofunctional specialist is key to successful motion and no longer use compensation to swallow.
Also, habitual mouth breathing has created unhealthy habits. When Mouth Breathing occurs, the tongue is low in the mouth, all the muscles that need to be engaged in function are no longer engaging correctly. So other muscles are now performing swallowing, chewing, functions they were not intended for. This creates compensations and new healthy patterns need to be made.
Along with Mouth Breathing the amount of oxygen intake is limited and the tongue being in the wrong resting position, will block the airway during sleep, snoring, grinding, restless sleep, bed wetting is occurring. This causes our body to not get into the correct level of REM sleep and we are instead in a constant survival mode when we are suppose to be recharging our brain and central nervous system. (Click the link to learn more about sleep apnea and snoring.)
Dental Professionals, if you see it, say it! Tell the patients what you see, give referrals and start the conversation. If you are seeking answers for your own health, keep asking those questions. Contact me and ask me questions, I am here to help you be a healthier you! Click here for FREE 30 MINUTE CONSULT.