Prevention needs no cure.
Do you often find yourself or your child oral breathing? This is not ideal at rest or during sleep. Converting from oral breathing to habitual nasal breathing is entirely possible with the right solutions! More importantly, this change may prevent downstream health issues, especially with early intervention.
Movement and resting posture of the tongue, lips, and jaw may directly and/or indirectly influence:
- Body posture
- Airway patency
- Feeding, chewing, swallowing
- Oral hygiene
- Facial skeletal growth
- Dental occlusion
- Stability of orthodontic treatment
- Temporomandibular joint function and pain
- Facial esthetics
What is oral motor therapy?
Oral motor therapy is the identification, treatment, and prevention of abnormal posture and movement of the face, lips, tongue, and jaw. This therapy consists of an individualized progression of pain-free stretches and exercises involving sensory, coordination, and strength training. Exercises are performed daily multiple times per day to create habits and lasting results. Intensity of home exercises is highest during the first month of treatment. Course of treatment typically lasts 4-10 sessions over 2-6 months, with individual variation. Oral motor therapy benefits those of all ages. Click here to learn more about when to intervene.
Signs and symptoms of oral motor disorder
- Chronic oral breathing (day and/or night)
- Thumb/digit/tongue sucking
- Nail biting
- Tongue thrust
- Limited tongue range of motion
- Short upper lip
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Temporomandibular pain or dysfunction
- Orthodontic relapse
- Restless sleep
- Sleep apnea
- Dark circles under eyes