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Healthy Tongue Function Stimulates Jaw and Facial Growth


tongue tie and high vaulted small palate


Early diagnosis and treatment of tongue ties and lip ties can correct crowded teeth, mouth breathing and sleep apnea. If a tongue is “tied” down it has limited range of motion. Tongue pressure while a child is growing expands the jaws so it grows to be the right size and shape. If the tongue is not working properly, healthy facial growth will not happen.  Releasing ties, myofunctional therapy, breathing exercises and orthodontic expanders are the keys to treating crowded teeth, jaw under development and mouth breathing.


Tongue Tie and Mouth Breathing Link


When the palate and nose do not grow wide enough from tongue pressure, people will turn to breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. It is very important to treat tongue ties and restore the function of the tongue. And our goal needs to be to stop mouth breathing because of all the health benefits of healthy breathing patterns.



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Tongue and Lip Tie Release


Dr. Adams releases tongue ties using a diode laser and a functional technique. The functional tongue untie verifies the tongue has a healthy range of motion after the procedure.There is no bleeding and minimal pain after the procedure when a laser is used.  We also give myofunctional therapy and breathing exercises to improve tongue function.


Contact us for a no cost consultation in the office or over the phone or zoom. 



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Tied Tongues do not Move Properly


before and after palatal expansion


A tied tongue can not reach the palate. The tongue is responsible for developing the shape of the palate and the entire mouth and nasal passageways. Tongue pressure on the palate is what causes natural palatal expansion. Palates will be high-vaulted and narrow if the tongue does not do it’s job. When jaw spaces do not grow to be large enough, air does not pass properly through small mouth and nasal spaces. Sleep disordered mouth breathing is the result. During disordered breathing, muscles in the face put irregular strain and pressure on the jaws and facial bones.  This causes the jaw and facial bones to grow to be the wrong size and shape.


Many Kids Mouth Breathe and have Crooked Teeth


Did you know that 15% of children with crowded teeth have an undiagnosed moderate to severe airway or pediatric sleep apnea problem? Small mouths and airways can lead to TMJ pain and sleep apnea in adulthood. When parents see crooked teeth, they need to be concerned about more than straight teeth.


Diagnosing Lip Ties


Lip ties will draw the lips back onto the teeth, resisting outward growth of the jaws. When a tongue is un-tied it can regain range of motion and promote proper facial development. Often myofunctional therapy and tongue exercises need to be done for the tongue to properly regain normal range of motion.


Expanders and Growth Appliance Video by Dr. Adams


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Growth Appliances and Palate Expanders


When teeth are crowded other forward growth and expander treatments are necessary.  Dr. Adams treats his patients with a variety of different palatal expanders and forward growth appliances. A few of his favorites are the ALF appliance and Schwarz. Additionally a full evaluation of lip and tongue ties and breathing patterns is always completed at Maryland Holistic Dentist in Burtonsville Maryland.

Laser Treatment of Tongue Ties


tongue tie


Tongue tie and lip can be easily be treated in 1 min. with minimal pain and no bleeding.  A diode laser treatment removes the unwanted attachment  or “tie” in seconds. The Procedure is called a “lingual frenectomy”. Early treatment can prevent mouth breathing and sleep disordered breathing.


Functional Tongue Untying Procedure


Once a tongue is untied we want it to function properly. Proper function needs to be verified during the procedure. We call this functional tongue untie. Basically once the tongue is cut with the laser, the dentist will as the patient to move the tongue around to verified it has a normal range of motion. Usually the dentist will need to stretch the tongue out forwards and side to side. The tongue stretches will release adhesions and tight tendons. Occasionally, if the tongue still does not have good enough range of motions, the dentist may cut more of the posterior tongue tied area.


Myofunctional Therapy and Tongue Exercises


Myofunctional therapists are specially trained professionals who focus on improving tongue function. Myofunctional tongue exercises are very useful to help the tongue not reattach. People who do exercises after untying a tongue are 56% less likely to see re-attachment. Tongue ties that are untied using a functional technique are 63% more likely to achieve tongue function that is normal.

How Facial and Jaw Bone Grows with Expanders


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The Tongue and Development of the Mouth


Tongue plays an important role in the normal development growth and function of mouth structures. Tongue is present in the floor of mouth and is attached to different bones through muscles. Tongue makes connection with the lower jaw, hyoid bone, styloid process and pharynx.


How Does the Tongue Naturally Expand the Palate?


Mastication, chewing, swallowing, taste perception and sound production are among the important functions in which tongue assists teeth and mouth structures. Tip and margin of tongue, its dorsum and inferior surfaces and its root all play their part. The tip or margin of tongue usually rests against the upper front teeth while body of tongue rests against the palate. When your tongue is placed in correct posture, it exerts an upward and forward force on upper jaws helping in proper growth and development. Abnormal tongue posture causes disturbed jaw development as well as crowded teeth. 


Tongue Pressure can Easily Move Teeth and Grow Jaw Bone


Approximately 1.4 grams force is usually sufficient for causing movement of teeth and alterations in the bone structure in your mouth. Tongue muscles are capable of exerting approximately 500 grams force. These forces must work properly in a coordinated fashion according to body’s requirements in order to achieve healthy functioning and attractive smiles. These forces can be balanced if swallowing patterns are under control and upper tongue rest posture is maintained. This helps in the normal eruption of teeth around the tongue in lower jaw and prevents mal-alignment and development of rotated and crooked teeth.


Proper Tongue Position


The tongue should rest against the palate. The lips should comfortable seal the mouth.  Teeth position is slightly apart or in very light contact. A perfect teeth occlusion and a beautiful smile depend upon normal tongue posture and healthy function and range of motion. 


Many Adults with Tied Tongues have Airway and TMJ Problems


DNA appliance therapy is a good option for adults suffering for from TMJ and teeth clenching, sleep apnea and facial under development. Other options for adult growth treatments include the AGGA and the Homeoblock device.

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