Jenny L. Gularte, RDH, BBE
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist
Buteyko Breathing Educator
Signs and symptoms of an airway issue may include patients that breathe with their mouth open during day or night or have forward head posture. These patients are often times diagnosed as having ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), ADD (attention-deficit disorder), or SBD (sleep-breathing disorder). Patients with enlarged tonsils and adenoids or if they have been removed may be at risk for developing sleep apnea later in life. These patients often benefit from myofunctional therapy because a crucial component of myofunctional therapy is establishing 100% nasal breathing in addition to repatterning muscles of mastication.
It has been recently acknowledged that myofunctional therapy can be an effective way to address and treat OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) and SBD (sleep breathing disorder). Up to 80% of cases involving moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed (https://sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea-information-clinicians/), and patients that have weak and improperly functioning oral muscles also show signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. By strengthening these muscles, in many cases the signs and symptoms are reduced dramatically, if not altogether eliminated.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Myofunctional therapy can provide an alternative, non-invasive approach to repatterning the muscles of the head, neck, and face areas that may be causing pain to the jaw joints. We now have studies to show that myofunctional therapy exercises may significantly decrease jaw pain and headaches when the underlying issue is tongue and muscle related. Therefore, I am not advocating that I treat TMJ issues, however if the problem is muscle-oriented, I have found that my patients’ pain symptoms have dramatically been reduced.
Buteyko Breathing and Myofunctional Therapy
Eliminate poor mouth-breathing habits to promote nasal breathing.
Teaching adults and children how to correctly chew, swallow and achieve correct tongue rest posture.
Successfully eliminate poor oral habits such as thumb sucking and nail biting.