The tongue drives the growth of the upper jaw.
When jaws do not grow to their full potential, they are small and narrow, causing the airway space to be too small to be the right size home for the tongue. This forces the tongue forward and contributes to mouth breathing. Lines occur on the tongue because tongue is fighting for space.
Signs of underdeveloped jaws
- Dry and chapped lips
- Opened-mouth posture while sitting still (inability to keep lips together)
- Chronic runny nose and or allergies
- History of chronic ear infections
- Dental crossbite
- Crowded teeth
- Malocclusion ( teeth not in their correct position)
- Anterior open bite (front teeth do not close together)
- Red or swollen upper gums
- Eating with mouth open
- Noisy eater
- Poor posture: Neck forward posture vs upright posture
- TMJ problems
What is Palatal Expansion?
Widening of the upper jaw.
Why is a wide palate important?
A narrow jaw reduces airway volume, makes a smaller home for the tongue to rest, and can contribute to restricted airway. This can lead to sleep disordered breathing.
What is the best age for development of good airway space and home for tongue?
When needed, palatal expansion is best started before 5 years of age i.e. before school age. At 4 years of age, the skull is already 60% developed.
What is the next best age for development of good airway space and home for tongue?
Before 12 years of age when the skull is 90% developed.
Can I expand my palate as an adult?
Yes, there are several ways to expand an adult palate. Schedule a consultation with us to find a solution for you.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign = Clear Aligner Therapy that moves teeth and influences jaw bone growth, similar to traditional bracket and wires (Orthodontic “Braces”)
How old do I need to be for Invisalign?
Invisalign Clear aligner therapy has been used in ages from 4 – 80 +. There really is no upper age limit for Invisalign.
What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. This joint is the hinge of the upper and lower jaw.
What is TMD?
TMD is Temporomandibular Disease and refers to any pain or disease that involves the TMJ area. Usually the causes of TMD are multifaceted. However, there is a huge connection between temporomandibular disease and having myofunctional issues. Breaking the pattern of having the tongue and lower jaw move as one unit often helps to treat the disease.
Tongue in palate = stability.
If when the mouth opens, the tongue drops, this is not a natural position for TMJ condyles and disc to sit in. The natural instinct is to clench and muscle brace when there is no jaw stability and this can cause TMD. This low tongue posture also increases the risk of airway issues. Learning to move the tongue independently of the lower jaw can be life changing for an individual’s health and well being.