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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Campagna

Sleep and Mouth Breathing

Many adults and children sleep with their mouth open. The open mouth posture is sign of mouth breathing during sleep. Sleeping with your mouth open interrupts the quality of sleep you get. By relearning how to breathe through your nose and maintaining proper oral rest posture, you can improve your health tenfold.

How do you know if someone is sleeping with their mouth open?

  • restless sleeper

  • snoring

  • grinding

  • headaches

  • drooling on the pillow

  • thirsty upon waking up

  • dry mouth upon waking

  • complaints of sore throat due to dryness in the morning

  • morning sleepiness

  • sleep apnea

  • decreased oxygen saturation in the blood

What should I do about my concerns?

Sleep and open mouth breathing can be caused by lots of things including allergies, illness, sinusitis, bronchitis, enlarged adenoids; enlarged tonsils; weak or low tone muscles of the face, oral habits such as thumb sucking, etc.

Because of the nature of the orofacial complex, we recommend working with a team of healthcare professionals to assist in the treatment of open mouth breathing and sleep. An orofacial myofunctional evaluation is a great way to start improving your sleep and optimize your health.

An orofacial myofunctional evaluation typically results in a collaborative referral to another healthcare professional on our team who needs to further examine the structure of the face so that we can improve the function. Holistic care of the orofacial complex is the most important factor for successfully retraining healthy orofacial muscle habits. Therefore, we provide collaborative care with our team of professionals prior to initiating, during, post myofunctional therapy to ensure that facial structure and the neuromuscular functions work in harmony.

We work with ENTs, dentists, orthodontists, sleep specialists, physical therapists, feeding specialists, lactation consultants, chiropractors, and other bodyworkers to find harmony and balance in the orofacial complex.

Do I really need myofunctional therapy if my ENT is recommending surgery?

Yes! We highly recommend myofunctional therapy for retraining nasal breathing, building facial muscle strength and tone, relearning proper oral rest posture, proper swallowing movements, and/or speech sound production.

It's kind of like when you have knee surgery, the orthopedic surgeon did an awesome job with your knee repair. The next step is physical therapy to retrain and rebuild muscle movement patterns.

An ENT's treatment recommendations work in combination with the neuromuscular exercises that we do in orofacial myofunctional therapy. The ENT surgical procedures are an important factor to reducing the cause of open mouth posture at rest which is a symptom of open mouth breathing. But the muscles of the face and mouth still have to be retrained for appropriate movement patterns required to optimize the surgical benefits.

Read more about myofunctional therapy on our blog: Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy.

How do I get started?

Schedule an appointment online or call: 214-997-1106

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