While it’s completely normal to breathe through your mouth in certain situations — when you are doing strenuous exercise, or are nasally congested with a cold or flu, for example — breathing through the mouth all of the time can cause problems.
Many people don’t even realize that they are breathing through the mouth, especially as it often happens while sleeping, but if you have a dry mouth, bad breath, or often wake up feeling tired, it could be a sign that you are breathing through your mouth at night.
Fortunately, myofunctional therapy can help with this issue. Read on to find out more about how myofunctional therapy helps to promote a harmonious relationship between the muscles of the face, mouth and throat to allow for proper breathing and other functions.
What’s wrong with mouth breathing?
Mouth breathing can actually change the way your child looks, because it can affect skeletal development and disrupt the development of the airway. Mouth breathing also has an impact on the resting position of the tongue and facial muscles, so in many cases mouth breathers experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders, which can affect their ability to breathe, eat, and speak properly. Mouth breathing can also cause crooked teeth and facial deformities, while adults who breathe through the mouth all the time may experience bad breath and gum disease.
What are the symptoms of mouth breathing?
You may not realize that you breathe through your mouth, especially while you sleep. Some signs of mouth breathing in adults include snoring, a dry mouth, bad breath, fatigue, and hoarseness.
In children, you may notice enlarged tonsils, dry lips, daytime sleepiness, concentration problems, and irritability, as well as a slower than normal growth rate.
What is myofunctional therapy?
The goal of myofunctional therapy is to correct any functional issues that involve the tongue, lips, and breathing by teaching repetitive exercises. We employ techniques that exercise the facial muscles and tongue, and help to modify certain behaviors in order to promote proper function.
Myofunctional therapy also works to create an optimal resting posture for patients, which involves the teeth and lips together with the tongue resting against the top of the mouth. This resting posture should be comfortable, and encourage continuing orofacial harmony.
What causes mouth breathing?
In most cases, mouth breathing is caused by an obstructed nasal airway. The obstruction, which can be either completely or partially blocked, is a problem because it prevents the smooth passage of air into the nose. Some possible causes of an obstruction include enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a deviated septum, and obstructive sleep apnea.
How can myofunctional therapy help with mouth breathing?
Myofunctional therapy can be very helpful in putting an end to mouth breathing and preventing the associated health concerns, which include sleep apnea, speech impediments, and improper facial development.
Myofunctional therapy includes a targeted program of exercises that help to restore strength and coordination in the muscles of the face and tongue. The exercises are painless and fairly simple, so they can be continued at home once they have been taught. A course of myofunctional therapy generally lasts for at least six months, so that there is more chance to see positive results.
Find out more about myofunctional therapy here. If you suspect that your child may have an airway restriction, take our questionnaire here. We are able to perform a sleep evaluation on your child if necessary, and if they qualify for treatment, we are happy to guide you through the process every step of the way. We understand the importance of recognizing and treating children’s concerns as early as possible. When left unattended, issues can develop and become more and more difficult to treat in later stages of life. We offer a wide range of treatment options and encourage families to attend regular wellness check-ups. This helps to ensure the wellbeing of your children, and allows us to pick up on any issues before they become more complicated with time.
Are you ready to book a consultation? Get in touch with our friendly team if you feel that you or your child could benefit from myofunctional therapy. We are available to answer any questions you might have about any of our treatment plans.