Miami and Coral Gables, Florida
How you breathe matters. If you regularly are breathing through your mouth, then you are “gulping” air and making yourself more susceptible to several threats to your oral health and overall health.
If you or a member of your family is mouth breathing, Miami Designer Smiles can help break that behavior by prescribing a course of myofunctional therapy.
The Dangers of Mouth Breathing
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 during 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 myofunctional therapy?
Myofunctional therapy consists of a series of exercises that work the tongue, as well as the muscles of the face and the mouth. These exercises are simple and usually can be performed with minimal discomfort in a matter of minutes. A typical course of myofunctional therapy lasts at least six months.
What is the purpose of myofunctional therapy?
By using a specific set of exercises customized for each patient, the treatment focuses on the following goals:
- Achieving the appropriate posture of the head and back
- Finding or restoring proper tongue positioning
- Regaining proper swallowing patterns
- Restoring proper chewing
- Encouraging nasal breathing, which is more beneficial to overall health
- Improving speech and articulation
Many of the above treatment goals are achieved by finding the ideal oral resting posture: with lips together, teeth together, and the tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth.
The exercises target the orofacial 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.
Miami Designer Smiles is Your Choice for Myofunctional Therapy
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 not only will improve your life but your health and confidence, all without the use of surgery!
Myofunctional Therapy in Miami
Ready to learn more about the benefits of myofunctional therapy? Please contact our Miami cosmetic dentists today or call (305) 595-4616 to schedule your initial appointment.
Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.