Thumb Sucking, Mouth Breathing, Orthodontics, Sleep...What do these all have in common?
Yesterday, I met my first myofacial therapist. I didn't even know anything like myofacial therapy even existed until we were referred to one by our tongue tie specialist. You see, before the tongue tie specialist can revise Phillip's tongue tie that is very likely the cause of his sleep apnea, he has to do myofacial therapy...or the revision won't work. 

Any child or adult older than the age of 4 has to see a myofacial therapist before getting their tongue tie revised in order to retrain their tongue so that the revision will actually work. It's expensive...but it must be done. 

As soon as we walked into her office, I knew we were going to be great friends. She just had the most amazing and friendly smile and we all felt immediately at home. As Phillip was filling out his paperwork, I asked her how she had gotten into myofacial therapy. 

"Because speech therapy didn't work. I was a speech therapist...but when I was seeing the same kids 1 year, 3 years, 5 years down the road, I realized something wasn't right..." 

Then she got into talking about orthodontics and how 70% of orthodontics fail. I knew that...I was definitely in that 70% of failed orthodontics which has always bugged me! 

She explained that most people don't need orthodontics...what they need is proper placement of the tongue and for their lip muscles to be correct! I had now idea! 

She said, "The tongue dictates the shape of the palette and the lips control where the teeth stay!" 

Orthodontics usually take out teeth to make room...but when you take out teeth, that reduces the size of the palette and it makes less room for breathing!

Lips are made up of banded muscles...that means you can easily tighten or loosen them with various exercises so that they actually change the structure of the face and will correct the position of the teeth! Did you know that all the muscles in the face are attached to each other except for the two muscles attached to the temporalis? So by correcting the length of the muscles in the face, you can correct overbites, the position of the teeth, and more! How amazing is that?! 

If you have an overbite that indicates bad tongue position! Once you correct an overbite with myofacial therapy, it expands the upper arch making more room for breathing! 

Why do children suck their thumbs??? In order to see, it pushes the tongue up to the resting position that is correct which is directly behind the front teeth at the top...and that opens the airway for breathing. 

But if you are a mouth breather, two things are happening that make it harder to breathe. First, your tongue is blocking your airway and second, the facial muscles are squeezing the palette and that narrows the upper arch which also reduces the room for breathing.

You can tell that someone is a mouth breather in two ways: (she pointed these out on Phillip!) they usually have lines or grey under their eyes. They also have white edges on their teeth. 

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, there is actually a very high chance that you can treat it simply with myofacial therapy and tongue tie revision (if you have a tongue tie). There is no need for a CPAP machine. In fact, CPAP machines breathe for you and cause your brain to turn off because it is no longer needed.

If for some reason, myofacial therapy and tongue tie revision isn't enough, this amazing myofacial therapist is working with a company in France to design an appliance that fits into your mouth and is simply a bar that holds your tongue up so you can sleep at night! How amazing is that?! 

If you are a mouth breather, have an overbite, or struggle with sleep issues related to breathing, I would highly recommend going to see a myofacial therapist. My only regret is not taking my husband and children to see one sooner! And now I want to go in order to get my teeth straightened out again!

xo Rachelle <3 

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