Many patients have been dealing with symptoms of mouth breathing for most of their lives. This is a problem that can affect both adults and children, and one that needs to be addressed through Myofunctional Therapy in order to establish more efficient nasal breathing patterns.
One of the most common causes of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD) is the lack of, or inability to perform, nasal breathing. When the ability to breathe through the nose is impeded, the body naturally accommodates by relying on mouth breathing. But long-term mouth breathing can change the jaw’s natural resting position, as well as the position of the tongue and lips. These changes can influence growth patterns of the jaw and maxilla, often resulting in significant malocclusion development.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy can help. Through this treatment, the patient learns three to four different exercises in each session that target specific structural issues. Session one starts off easy, with each exercise becoming more challenging. The time commitment is small: each exercise can take up to five minutes, performed twice a day, except for one longer, timed exercise. But the benefits are huge.
However, it is possible to perform all the exercises exactly as prescribed and still not get the expected results to establish nasal breathing patterns. That is why teaching awareness is a large part of the program. Patients learn to be mindful of their behaviors in the placement of the tongue or noticing if their mouth is open. The combination of the exercise and the awareness training can make all the difference.
If you have difficulty with nasal breathing, contact the expert team at Airway & Sleep Group for an evaluation. They can help.