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There are many negative consequences of mouth breathing including and potentially leading to the following:
Dry mouth - which can help lead to tooth decay and gum disease
Low tongue posture - which can lead to craniofacial underdevelopment, high narrow palate, nasal constriction, which can lead to more mouth breathing. Low tongue posture can also inhibit proper swallow pattern not clearing the Eustachian tubes which can lead to problems with ear infections.
Poor sleep pattern - which can lead to mood disturbances, brain fog, ADD and ADHD in children, and poor release of growth hormone.
Decrease of CO2 levels in the body - which can cause vasoconstriction and bronchoconstriction ( high blood pressure and breathing issues) Also an imbalance in the bodies PH which can lead to bed wetting in children, frequent urination in adults.
Lack of air filtration - which can lead to inflamed tonsils and adenoids, nasal polyps, and asthma
Decrease NO2 levels in the body - which can lead to vasoconstriction and bronchoconstriction (high blood pressure and breathing issues)
The tip of the tongue should rest on the tissue behind the top front teeth with the body of the tongue pressing up against the palate from front to back. The tongue should not touch the teeth while in this position. When the tongue rests in this position it puts pressure on the palate. The tongue in this position is partly responsible for forming a wide palate that will fit all of the teeth as well as creates a large airway space above the palate in the nasal cavity and in the back of the throat.
Health conditions associated with improper tongue rest posture include: snoring, sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing, improper tooth alignment, improper swallowing pattern, crowding teeth, TMJ pain, headaches, neck/shoulder pain, and more.
When a person swallows the tongue should form a bowl, press up and back onto the palate. It should not press onto the teeth and there should be very few or no extra facial movements. When the tongue doesn't press upward or presses onto the teeth it is called a tongue thrust swallowing pattern. The pressure of pressing onto the palate when swallowing correctly helps form an ideal size and shape of the jaws. When the tongue presses forward onto the teeth it can cause the teeth and jaw to form in a less than ideal way.
Health conditions associated with a tongue thrust swallowing pattern include: misaligned teeth, poor jaw formation, digestive issues, and more.
Tongue tie is a restriction in the lingual frenum. Also called a teathered oral tissue (TOT) It helps connect the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Everybody has a lingual frenum, but in some people the connection is too short. It can restrict the movement of the tongue keeping it from resting on the roof of the mouth or from swallowing properly.
People who are tongue tied often mouth breathe and can suffer from many myofunctional problems and symptoms such as facial and jaw pain, headaches, clenching and grinding. Studies show that children with tongue ties are more likely to develop sleep apnea and airway issues.
Most times, tongue tie is treated surgically by and experienced Dentist or Oral Surgeon. The procedure can be done with a laser or scapel. It can be called a frenectomy, frenotomy, or frenuloplasty. It is critical for myofunctional therapy to be done before and after the procedure. A series of exercises will be prescribed before and after the procedure to strengthen the muscle and prepare it for the new range of motion it will have post surgery. After surgery myofunctional therapy is used to rehab the wound and work on proper function.
- Mouth Breathing VS Nasal Breathing
- Tongue mobility and compensations
- Swallow function and compensations
- Size of Tonsils
- Tongue rest posture
- Tongue tie/ Lip tie
- Dental occlusion/ malocclusion/ orthodontic treatment
- Jaw pain and dysfunction
- Head and neck and facial pain
- Snoring and Sleep apnea screening
- Facial structure and Jaw formation
- Oral habits such as thumb and finger sucking
Often times I feel like the patients that see the best results are the ones that agree to a multi-diciplinary approach. Myofunctional issues often times have been present for years with many compensations and conseqences to those compensations. Patients with myofunctional issues can have narrow arches and mallaligned teeth and benefit from palatal expansion done by a dentist or orthodontist. They can have postural changes (forward head posture) and benefit from a body worker such as a chiropractor, PT, craniosacral therapist, or massage therapist. Digestive issues and can benefit from a health coach or natural path. I take extra time to get to know my patients and the professionals in the area that can help my patient to the fullest.