Do You Need Myofunctional Therapy: The Definitive Assessments

The frequent congestion, ear/throat infections, poor sleep, tongue thrust and mouth-breathing has become intolerable. Your dental or medical professional has informed you about myofunctional therapy as a treatment to provide you with some relief…now what?

I’ve been there. You just heard about this random therapy that seems to have come out of nowhere, your head is spinning and you want a second opinion. Absolutely something to Google away your concerns…OR…you could use this definitive assessment to verify need and validate your concerns.

Three simple key points can definitively pinpoint if you need myofunctional therapy:

  1. 3 A’s of Airway Obstruction
  2. The 1 Minute Breath Test
  3. Airway Assessment

The completion of all 3 will give you the best answer, but for those short on time, a quick result from one points you in the right direction.

The 3 A’s of Airway Obstruction

An obstructed or narrow airway has many consequences. Breathing is essential and any obstacle along the track is detrimental to our mental and physical health. Most frequently people suffering from a narrow airway will experience one of three symptoms.

  1. Asthma
  2. Anxiety
  3. Allergies

Asthma and asthma-like symptoms are directly attached to the airway. Modern medicine would typically treat the wheezing and attacks with medication or palliative treatment. However, many people have treated their asthma with a combination of myofunctional therapy and dental appliances. Widening of the dental arches in conjunction with nasal breathing has brought relief to many suffering with asthma-like symptoms.

Anxiety has long been linked to breathing and meditation. An oxygenated body is a calm body. Mouth-breathing impairs the quality of the oxygen your body receives and often establishes an environment that narrows the airway. Nasal breathing allows air to be filtered and humidified prior to reaching the lungs. Many anxiety suffers have benefited from reduced or sometimes eliminated attacks through learning proper breathing.

Allergies plague many of us and it seems that the number of allergens are rising rapidly. Congestion, sinus inflammation and post nasal drip that occurs from seasonal and environmental allergies are sometimes incorrectly associated with allergies. Those often are a result of a narrowed airway. Especially in the cases where the sufferer experiences year-long “allergies.”

If you experience any of the 3 A’s of airway obstruction, you may be a great candidate for myofunctional therapy.

The 1-Minute Breath Test

Probably the easiest way to determine myofunctional therapy necessity is to take our 1-minute breath test.

Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat against the floor and take in a deep breath. Notice your mouth during the breath and repeat if necessary. Were your lips sealed? Where was your tongue positioned? Did you feel the breath in your chest?

Repeat the breath, but this time place your tongue up against the roof of the mouth, then inhale and exhale exclusively through the nose. Compare the two breaths.

If your first breath felt more labored than the second, then You’re Breathing Wrong. (<- Couldn’t resist that shameless plug)

In your first breath you may have used your mouth, had your tongue pressed against your teeth, possibly on the floor of the mouth, or breathed with your chest. Any one of those during frequent breathing is incorrect. Myofunctional therapy would be of the most benefit to you.

Our Airway Assessment

Sometimes nothing is better than seeing it all on paper. Our airway assessment has a myriad of common symptoms associated with a dysfunctional airway. It’s simple and free. Download and print your copy to see how many symptoms you experience that you may not have even known were linked.

I recommend myofunctional therapy for anyone who scores a 9 or greater.

Now what?

If you did all three and need more information before proceeding with myofunctional therapy check out our resourceful blog full of all the next steps to take once an airway problem is identified.

For those brave few who are ready to take the next step, visit The Myo Spot online to choose one of the various ways to get myofunctional therapy treatment as soon as today!

Karese Laguerre is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Orofacial Myologist. In her years of working with various patient populations in the dental field, she encountered similar trends and limitations in dental malocclusion and mouth-breathing. The correlation between the two became even more relevant as her own children grew in age and with the pursuit of extensive hours in continuing education she achieved training in treating the primary cause, improper oral resting posture. She is passionate about the education of airway matters to the general public.

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