C] Steps to Correct Mouth Breathing with Myofunctional Therapy
If you are wondering how to correct mouth breathing, here are some steps you can take to breathing naturally through our nostrils.
1. Evaluation and Diagnosis
The first step is an initial assessment by a qualified myofunctional therapist. The therapist will conduct an evaluation of oral habits, swallowing patterns, and tongue posture to identify any dysfunctional patterns that contribute to mouth breathing.
The therapist will also review the patient’s medical history and may request imaging or consultations with other healthcare professionals to understand the underlying causes of mouth breathing.
2. Breath Retraining
Many people mistakenly assume that myofunctional therapy is nasal breathing exercises, however that’s not the case. Nasal breathing exercises are just one component of myofunctional therapy that helps individuals gradually shift from mouth breathing to the natural and beneficial practice of breathing through the nose.
Myofunctional therapy employs some breath retraining techniques to promote nasal breathing and strengthen the nasal airway. Patients are taught various exercises to enhance their ability to breathe through their nose effectively.
These techniques may include breathwork exercises, such as:
Deep diaphragmatic breathing: Improves lung capacity and facilitates proper airflow through the nose.
Nose-only breathing: Helps train your body to breathe through your nose even when it is blocked.
Mouth taping: This is a simple technique that can help to keep your mouth closed while you sleep.
Nasal dilators: Nasal dilators are devices that help to open the nasal passages.
3. Oral Muscles Strengthening
The next step involves exercises to improve tongue posture and strengthen tongue muscles, promoting nasal breathing and proper oral function. Additionally, techniques for lip and cheek muscle control are introduced to ensure balanced oral muscle function. With consistent practice and guidance from a myofunctional therapist, individuals develop stronger oral muscles, leading to improved habits, breathing, and facial development.
4. Swallowing and Chewing Rehabilitation
Myofunctional therapy also corrects abnormal swallowing patterns, like tongue thrusting and open-mouth swallowing, by retraining the reflex for a more functional pattern. The therapy also enhances oral motor skills for proper chewing, improving jaw strength and coordination. These interventions lead to better oral health, digestion, and overall well-being. Consistent practice and guidance enable individuals to achieve a healthier and more efficient oral function.
5. Habit Correction and Lifestyle Changes
One of the most prominent questions in your mind right now would be, “Can you reverse mouth breathing effects? Is it even possible?” Yes, it is possible to gradually break the habit of mouth breathing and embrace the natural and beneficial practice of nasal breathing. It can be done with the help of Myofunctional therapy. Furthermore, you would have to make some lifestyle changes as well.
Listed below are a few habit corrections and lifestyle changes that will improve your respiratory health and overall well-being.
Use a humidifier to keep your nasal passages moist and prevent dryness by using a humidifier.
Take a warm shower. It can open your nasal passages and loosen mucus by taking a warm shower.
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids can keep your nasal passages moist and prevent them from drying out.
Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, as it can irritate the nasal passages, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.
Stress can hinder nasal breathing; incorporating healthy stress management practices like exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time in nature can help to promote better nasal airflow.
6. Myofunctional Exercises For Tongue Tie Release
There are a number of myofunctional exercises for tongue tie release that can help to strengthen the muscles that hold the tongue in the roof of the mouth, which can help to keep the airway open and prevent mouth breathing.
Some of the most common myofunctional exercises for promoting nasal breathing include:
Tongue-to-palate press: Start by pressing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. Hold the tongue in this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Tongue sweeps: Star by sweeping the tongue from side to side across the roof of the mouth. Start at the back of the tongue and sweep it forward, then repeat from the front to the back. Repeat 10 times.
Lip seal: Start by sealing the lips together and keeping them closed. Hold the lips in this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
7. Airway Orthodontics For Improving Jaw Structure
Airway orthodontics is a specialized approach that focuses on improving jaw structure and function by addressing airway issues. It focuses on the relationship between breathing and facial development with the objective to expand the upper jaw, bring the lower jaw forward and promote proper tongue posture.
This not only enhances nasal breathing but also facilitates optimal jaw growth, leading to improved facial aesthetics and overall oral health. Airway orthodontics can be beneficial for individuals with breathing difficulties and orthodontic concerns.
Combining Myofunctional Therapy with Orthodontic Treatments
Combining myofunctional therapy with orthodontic treatments offers a balanced and interconnected approach to comprehensive oral care. Myofunctional therapy addresses correcting oral posture and muscle imbalances, which aligns with the goals of orthodontics in preventing a relapse in proper teeth alignment and bite.
This dual approach ensures not only improved nasal breathing and dental health but also a more lasting and aesthetically pleasing outcome for patients, creating a harmonious connection between orofacial function and orthodontic results.