What does oral myofunctional therapy in Petaluma have to do with mouth-breathing?
We all switch from nose-breathing to mouth-breathing from time to time, such as when walking up a steep hill or carrying a heavy object. It is not the small bursts of mouth-breathing that can cause health concerns, but the chronic habit that some people have.
What are the reasons for mouth-breathing?
There are several reasons that the postural habit of mouth-breathing may develop. A short list includes:
- Respiratory infection
- Chronic congestion in the nasal passages
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
Underlying conditions such as these create a significant challenge to breathing through the nose. However, the person who must breathe through his or her mouth experiences changes in the mechanical function of the tongue; “tongue thrusting” evolves. Tongue thrusting can make it difficult to chew properly, breathe efficiently, and to speak clearly.
Consequences of mouth breathing
The primary concern related to mouth breathing is that it causes a clear disruption to proper body mechanics. In children, there is a concern that mouth-breathing will alter the growth pattern of the jaw and facial structure, leading to a “weak chin,” narrow face, and other anatomical anomalies. Additional conditions that may develop secondary to mouth breathing include:
- Gum disease
- Sleep disturbances and chronic fatigue
- Sore throat
- Digestive symptoms such as acid reflux and upset stomach
- Bad breath
- Unhealthy spinal posture
- Misaligned teeth and malocclusion
Improving oral posture with myofunctional therapy in Petaluma
Mouth breathing is not something that you can just tell yourself to stop doing. The problem involves numerous muscles that have been programmed to perform the way they do – even if it is not fully functional. Essentially, the body lacks the skill to breathe properly. These skills need to be taught, and this can take place with myofunctional therapy, a multi-dimensional treatment protocol conducted by highly trained professionals.
Dr. Smida routinely approaches conditions such as TMJ disorder with myofunctional therapy. Her training in occlusion-based diagnosis enables her to identify the extent of dysfunction, and to treat it with appropriate therapies.
Learn more about myofunctional therapy as a method of optimizing oral posture. Call (707) 781-8550.