Mouth-breathing as well as poor tongue and oral function can have an adverse effect on teeth and has the potential to impact on facial growth. As far back as 1907 a renowned orthodontist, Edward H. Angle’s textbook “Malocclusion of the Teeth”, detailed the effects of oral habits on occlusion. Angle stated that in his view, every malocclusion has a myofunctional cause.
Poor oral habits such as mouth-breathing, prolonged use of a dummy, thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can have a negative effect on the development of the teeth. Improper tongue placement when swallowing can contribute to malocclusion, for example, in front teeth being pushed forward. If you are considering orthodontic work or a pre-orthodontic appliance, addressing any myofunctional factors should be addressed first. This will also help to reduce any possibility of relapse after treatment.
Aims of Myofunctional Therapy
The aim of myofunctional therapy is to eliminate any poor oral habits and create good tongue posture. Myofunctional therapy determines that the tongue sits in the roof of the mouth and there is good nasal breathing through the nose with the lips together. When working in conjunction with a dentist or orthodontist who is looking at function this then enables space for the teeth, and good facial growth.