Do you snore?
Snoring and mouth breathing may indicate an underlying airway problem.
Normal skeletal and dental development of the face and jaws depends on even pressure from the lips and cheeks on the outside, and from the tongue on the inside of the mouth. Chronic mouth breathing causes the strong cheek and tongue muscles to squeeze the jaws together and move the teeth together to restrict the space for the tongue This also narrows the airway space in the nose and mouth. Such abnormal breathing may cause such an impediment to sleep, and overall health , that surgical jaw correction may be needed.
What is Orthotropics?
Orthotropics is therapy used to guide the forward growth of the upper and lower jaws. Guiding the growth of jaws to their maximum potential, allows for maximum oral cavity size and oral airway space. This promotes proper facial growth, posture. and normal growth development through good airway, good breathing and good sleep.
What is Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB)?
SDB is any breathing that is not quiet , silent breathing with lips sealed, breathing through the nose, 24 hours a day. The sleep-disordered breathing spectrum includes mouth breathing =>snoring=> obstructive sleep apnea.
What is the best age for development of good airway space and home for tongue?
SBD is ideally treated before 6 years of age , when the skull is 60% developed. The next best age is before 12 years of age when the skull is 90% developed.
What if my child is older than 6?
The development of the jaw can still be influenced with the use of appliances and muscle training during the child’s growth phases.
What if my child is a teenager or older?
Many signs and symptoms of the results of underdeveloped jaws are usually already apparent in the form of sleep disordered breathing and other signs that the child is not as well or healthy as they should be. Therapy is usually indicated to resolve the symptoms and get the individual back to health.
Why is tongue position so important?
The tongue is a strong muscle that not only helps guide the growth of the upper jaw to its maximum size when it is in the proper position, but it is a natural retainer to keep the upper jaw wide.
What are some signs and symptoms of airway and/or tongue restrictions?
- Breathing through their mouth more often than their nose
- Troubles with speech
- Participated in a speech therapy program
- Diagnosed with a tongue-tie
- Digestion issues (stomach aches, burping, gas, acid reflux)
- Hyper-active gag reflex, difficulty swallowing pills
- Observed difficulty breathing and eating at the same time eg noisy, slow, or picky eater
- Any breathing issues or difficulties (chronic congestion asthma, seasonal allergies, etc.)
- Tonsils and/or adenoids removed
Whats the difference between speech therapy and myofunctional therapy (MFT)?
Speech therapy involves auditory processing, cognitive development, and learning associated with speech issues.
Myofunctional therapy focuses on the muscles and tongue placement for speech sounds.
T, D, N, L – are precision sounds that need MFT to accomplish.
R sounds often more difficult if individual is tongue tied because tongue has to rise up and back in some R’s, and with other R sounds the tip of tongue has to go up and back.
A lisp is the most common problem associated with myofunctional symptoms.
However, accomplishing the goals of MFT is much more related to airway.
What are the next steps?
Schedule an examination. The comprehensive examination and evaluation will help determine appropriate therapy.
Diagnosing and correcting airway problems early, and creating an environment for the proper growth and development can change the growth trajectory of your child, possibly preventing the need for jaw surgery later in life, and avoiding the sleep breathing disorder continuum to sleep apnea.
If you already suffer from some of these symptoms, they don’t get better on their own. We can use the same therapy and techniques to help relieve symptoms and prevent them from becoming even greater health issues in the future.
Our goals are to maximize growth of jaws, establish proper airway and to provide therapy to be able to nasal breathe all of the time. Humans are obligate nasal breathers. If you desire optimal health for your child or yourself, we can help!