Mouth breathing may occur in a patient who is suffering from allergies or nasal congestion during a bout of sickness. However, chronic mouth breathing can be a problem leading to the following health concerns:
- Development of sleep apnea
- Interference of normal or optimal facial development
- Poor sleep
- Chronic fatigue
- Bad breath
- Increased risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and cavities
- Disturbances in the digestive system (gas, acid reflux, nausea)
When mouth breathing begins in infancy, the mouth, jaws, and face can be altered during the development period. Therefore, the tongue does not rest against the roof of the mouth, and it does not properly function when chewing or swallowing. Often, speech is affected because the tongue and oral muscles do not move appropriately.
How can we break the cycle of mouth breathing?
For some patients, forcing oneself to breathe through their nose is not as easy as it may sound. In fact, for a chronic mouth breather, their facial and oral muscles are conditioned to support oral breathing, instead of through the nasal cavity.
To break the mouth breathing cycle in older children or adults, we can re-educate the oral and facial muscles using myofunctional therapy.
What is the purpose of myofunctional therapy?
By using a specific set of exercises customized for each patient, the treatment focuses on the following:
- Appropriate posture of the head and back
- Proper tongue positioning
- Proper swallowing patterns
- Proper chewing
- Nasal breathing
- Speech and articulation
The exercises target the oral-facial muscles, tongue and peri-labial muscles, as well as the head and neck muscles responsible for maintaining optimal posture. By retraining and gaining appropriate muscle tone, the patient can speak, chew, and swallow properly.
Myofunctional therapy should only be prescribed by a certified clinician such as the professionals on staff at Miami Designer Smiles. We take a unique approach to solving the issue of mouth breathing by using a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Myofunctional therapy will not only improve your life but your health and confidence, all without the use of surgery!