Restricted Frenums: The link between Sleep apnea, breastfeeding difficulties, crooked teeth, and more

Did you know that having a restricted frenum in your mouth can lead to obstructive sleep apnea, breastfeeding difficulties, colicky babies, gum disease, mouth breathing, orthodontic relapse, and more oral and overall health effects?  I have made the video below with the world leader in Buteyko breathing re-education, Mr. Patrick McKeown in hopes of raising awareness about such conditions, and educating the public; as this has become a major public health issue. In this video, you will learn how something so small as a restricted frenum can cause a lot of damage to a person’s quality of life; and that detection, and proper management of these oral anomalies can make a world of a difference.

So, what is a frenum?  A frenum is a membraneous fold of skin or mucous membrane that supports or restricts the movement of a part or organ, such as the small band of tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth”. (American Heritage Dictionary)  There are seven frenums located in the oral cavity: Four buccal frenums (which are found connecting the cheek to the alveolar ridge), one maxillary labial frenum (which is found underneath the upper lip), one mandibular labial frenum (which is found underneath the lower lip), and one lingual frenum (which is found on the underside of your tongue).  If any of these frenums are restricted, a myriad of cascading oral and overall health effects will follow.

Frenum restrictions can lead to:

  • difficulty breastfeeding and latching on,
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome),
  • mastitis,
  • colicky babies,
  • spaces between your teeth,
  • orthodontic relapse,
  • habitual mouth breathing,
  • craniofacial changes that can impinge upon the airway,
  • obstructive sleep apnea,
  • digestive problems,
  • TMD (Jaw pain),
  • tongue thrust,
  • speech misarticulations,
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, and many more.

Proper diagnosis, treatment, and management can help prevent or arrest such health conditions associated with these restrictions.  To address a frenum restriction, a person must undergo what is called a frenectomy.  A frenectomy is a minor procedure that is done in a few minutes to release these restrictions.

Frenectomies must be followed through with post-frenectomy exercises, to prevent re-attachment, develop and improve motor function, increase kinesthetic awareness of the tongue and lips, and improve articulation among other.  These exercises must be followed through with a Myofunctional Therapist.  Myofunctional Therapists, work in a multidisciplinary way; with various medical and dental professionals, to establish proper orofacial balance.  Their therapy is known as Myofunctional Therapy, which is neuromuscular re-education; used to correct the improper function of the tongue and facial muscles that are used at rest, for chewing and for swallowing. (This definition of Myofunctional therapy came from my mentor and world leader in the field, Joy Moeller)

A person undergoing a frenectomy may also need to undergo breathing re-education, such as the Buteyko breathing re-education method; as in most cases habitual mouth breathing is established due to these restrictions.  It is imperative to address these habitual mouth breathing patterns, as mouth breathing creates a total body imbalance.  Mouth breathing has been associated with:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Inflammation
  • Gum disease
  • Crooked teeth
  • Orthodontic relapse and more.

The video that was put together, is evidence based and backed by research.  Enjoy, and stay tuned for more videos to come.


The link between mouth breathing and ADHD

Mouth breathing has been proven to be detrimental to your overall health.  Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose at an early age and not addressing it, can set the stage for lifelong health related problems.  There is a high correlation between mouth breathing and ADHD.  The video below was created by myself and the world leader in Buteyko breathing re-education, Mr. Patrick McKeown in hopes of educating the public about this public health issue.

Mouth breathing at an early age, if not addressed can contribute to morphological changes in the orofacial structures, hence setting the stage for sleep breathing disorders like sleep apnea.  Could it be that we are mistakenly diagnosing ADHD?  Not to say that ADHD is not a true disorder, but the signs and symptoms of ADHD are highly correlated with those of sleep breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.  This video will enhance your knowledge and perhaps help open the doors to new research.  Enjoy!

The importance of nasal breathing

Nasal breathing is essential for the proper growth and development of the orofacial structures and for optimal health.  There are many benefits that derive from nasal breathing versus mouth breathing.  The videos below, with the world leader in Buteyko breathing re-education; Mr. Patrick McKeown, will broaden your knowledge as to why it is imperative that you breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.  Patrick has published various books on Buteyko breathing re-education, with his latest book titled “The Oxygen Advantage”, and is world renowned for his work.

These mini-videos educate us on how mouth breathing has been scientifically proven to decrease your quality of life, and has been linked to various health problems such as: Asthma, rhinitis, obstructive sleep apnea, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), craniofacial changes and including Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs).  You will also learn how to perform a Buteyko breathing exercise to decongest the nose naturally.  Hope you enjoy!

The importance of nasal breathing and sleep apnea: Part 2

This is part 2 of the importance of nasal breathing and sleep apnea with the world leader in Buteyko Breathing re-education, Mr. Patrick McKeown.  In this video you will gain knowledge on the important role that nitric oxide plays during nasal breathing.

Nitric oxide production is one of the most important reasons for nasal breathing.  Most nitric oxide in normal human breath derives locally from the nose where it can reach high levels during breath-holding.  Although this gas is produced in minute amounts, it has many benefits to it such as:

  • Helping to increase arterial oxygen tension (enhancing lung capacity to absorb oxygen);
  • aiding in reducing high blood pressure,
  • maintaining homeostasis, and
  • playing an important role in immune defense to name a few.

For articles and educational materials please feel free to visit the Manhattan Myofunctional Therapy LLC website.

The importance of nasal breathing and sleep apnea: Part 1

It is a great honor for me to share with you this interview, with the world leader in Buteyko Breathing Re-education, Mr. Patrick McKeown; on the importance of nasal breathing and sleep apnea.  Patrick is a world renowned published author with various publications, including his best sellers: Close your mouth, Asthma-Free Naturally, and Anxiety Free: Stop worrying and quieten your mind.  His latest publication known as “The Oxygen Advantage” helps to improve sports performance by addressing dysfunctional breathing patterns and simulating high altitude training.  It’s definitely a must read!!!

The importance of proper nasal breathing is essential for the proper growth and development of the orofacial structures and for optimal overall health.  “The Buteyko Breathing Method,  is a form of complementary or alternative physical therapy that proposes the use of breathing exercises primarily as a treatment for asthma and other respiratory conditions”.   This video is part 1 of more to come and contains a self-help exercise to decongest the nose.  Please make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great videos.


Sleep Apnea Exercises

Below is my first YouTube video  demonstrating two oropharyngeal exercises that can help with sleep apnea.  These two exercises in particular aide in toning the muscles in the oropharynx. Stay tuned for more videos to come, so don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Sleep apnea exercises

If you’re using a device such as a mandibular advancement device or C-PAP machine, for the treatment of sleep apnea; it is not recommended to discontinue treatment unless you’ve taken steps to bring the disorder under control, and you have been cleared by your doctor.  Opinions regarding the treatment for sleep apnea may vary amongst medical professionals, and changes are always taking place.  Although the exercises provided within this video have demonstrated improvement in the tone of the oropharyngeal muscles; they do not replace a thorough evaluation from a board-certified sleep medicine physician and cannot guarantee results.  The exercises in this video should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner.  The therapist in this video cannot be held responsible for any error, omission, professional disagreement, outdated material, or adverse outcomes that may derive from the exercises or information provided in the video.  The therapist in this video advises to consult a licensed healthcare provider prior to the use of these self-help exercises.