Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Untethered Airway Health and Tongue-Tie Center: Serving a Growing Oral Health Need

Apr 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Sheila Julson
Doctor of Dental Surgery Meggie Graham, founder of Untethered Airway Health and Toungue Tie Center, comes from a family of dentists. She grew up in a health-centered, progressive community in Madison, Wisconsin. “I was surrounded by role models who valued health as a way of life and profession,” she says.

Graham studied dentistry at Marquette University School of Dentistry. She practiced general dentistry for six years before she was introduced to how the oral cavity heavily impacts breathing and sleep. This “ah-ha” moment connected a lot of dots she hadn’t realized needed to be connected. “I went down a rabbit hole that turned into a crater,” she says. “I recognized the relation of growth and development of the entire face to oral myofunctional disorders (OMD). Much repetitive, invasive dental work can be avoided by tracing the root causes of problems.”

Her quest for advanced training led her to an influential mentor, Dr. Soroush Zaghi, founder of The Breathe Institute. Zaghi is considered a leader and pioneer in the field of airway health. Under his guidance, Graham honed her specialized skills and techniques.

Graham realized that she, along with other family members, had also suffered from breathing problems that went undetected. This further drove her passion to start treating patients for airway issues at Lake Park Dental, her comprehensive restorative dental practice. She quickly noticed a demand for this type of care. She formed Untethered Airway Health and Tongue Tie Center to make it easier for families to access this specialty service.

Hidden Obstacles to Healthy Airways

Ankyloglossia, or “tongue tie”, occurs when attachment of the frenulum, the small section of tissue connecting the tongue to the mouth, is abnormal and restricts movement, obstructing nasal breathing. Improper tongue posture also affects jaw growth. If restricted, tethered oral tissues impede function, and growth is altered.

In adults, OMD leads to sleep-disordered breathing, generalized breathing disorders, facial pain, headaches and temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ. “Function is queen. We need to identify dysfunction and teach function. When restricted oral tissues—tongue, lip and/or cheek ties—interfere with that function, they should be addressed with a complete release of the restricted fascia,” she explains.

Untethered offers many different treatment options for airway and tongue-tie issues. Graham partners with a board-certified otolaryngologist and sleep physician to provide ear, nose and throat care and sleep assessments. She also has an infant feeding and functional specialists, along with an oromyofunctional therapist on her office team to provide an interdisciplinary approach toward achieving optimal outcomes for her patients.

Oral health is crucial to overall health, Graham emphasizes. “We don’t give the mouth nearly enough credit. It’s the beginning of our gut, is central to the craniofacial respiratory complex and is vital to communication and nutrition.”

Graham’s patients range in age from newborns to people in their 80s. She emphasizes that prevention and early detection of tongue and airway issues is key, but it’s never too late to intervene. “The time to address a functional issue is when it is identified,” she says.

While Graham enjoys finding the “whys” behind breathing, functional and sleep issues, seeing successful patient outcomes is her ultimate reward. “I smile when I connect with patients sharing their success stories. With young kids, not only do I have the privilege of helping redirect the growth trajectory of a child, but their entire family’s trajectory is changed.”

Untethered Airway Health and Toungue Tie Center is located at 2524 E. Webster Pl., Ste. 201A, Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-935-8460 or visit