In this video, leading orofacial myofunctional therapist Sarah Hornsby talks about how tongue-ties, bottle feeding and ear infections all reflect abnormal function of the oral and facial muscles.
We now know that this poor function is associated with the development of myofunctional disorders including problems with speech articulation, the development of snoring and sleep apnoea or TMD/jaw dysfunction.
Whilst most people are aware of the nutritional and immune benefits of breastfeeding, the mechanical aspects of breastfeeding are less often highlighted.
Breastfed babies use more muscles including the greater use of their tongue to co-ordinate their sucking and learn a more natural swallow. The development of good tongue tone is also important for chewing solids, speech, healthy jaw development and closed mouth nasal breathing.
Tongue-ties can interfere with the normal tongue function. They introduce compensatory overactivity of other muscles, setting up poor habits and poor swallowing patterns that persist later in life.
There is also increasing recognition that poor oral function is linked to Eustachian Tube dysfunction. One of the functions of this tube is to clear infection and debris from the middle ear to the back of nose and swallowing helps to do this.