Why Oral Myofunctional Therapy Might Be the Missing Piece
Your little one has been struggling with sleep. Snoring, mouth breathing, and those frustrating ear infections just won't seem to quit. The doctor suggests tonsil and adenoid removal, or maybe even tubes in the ears. You're worried, you're exhausted, and you just want your child to breathe (and sleep) soundly again. You also are running low on PTO to take them to the doctors and sick of waiting at the pharmacy for yet another round of antibiotics.
But Wait. Hold on.
Before you rush into surgery, consider this: what if the root of the problem isn't just overgrown tissue, but how your child's mouth, breathing, and posture work?
That's where Be Well NEPA comes in. We will check out those tonsils, tubes, and tongue!
We're not just speech therapists – we practice oral myofunctional therapy (OMT), and we specialize in helping children (and adults!) overcome breathing and sleep issues through gentle training of the oral muscles and how they work with large grouped muscles.
We have worked with some of the BEST in this specialty, including The Breathe Institute and Lehigh Valley Tongue Tie & Sleep Wellness Center to target a person first approach, without jumping the gun to surgery.
Why does this collaborative care and training of the muscles even matter?
Think of your mouth as an orchestra.
The tongue, lips, cheeks, and soft palate all play their part in a harmonious symphony of breathing, swallowing, and speaking. But sometimes, the conductor (the brain) gets a little confused, and the instruments (the muscles) don't quite follow their cues. This can lead to a whole host of problems, including:
Chronic mouth breathing
Recurrent ear infections
Open mouth posture
Here's where OMT steps in. We're like expert music teachers for your mouth. We assess your oral posture, muscle function, and swallowing patterns, and then design a personalized program of exercises to strengthen and retrain those muscles.
I know you are thinking " But wait, I still don't understand - how does the tongue make a difference with EAR infections? "
Well..the Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear with the posterior portion of the nose. They provide aeration, air pressure balance and drainage to the middle ear. Dysfunction of their opening may be due to allergies, atypical swallowing or movement of the tongue,anatomical defects of the soft palate or TMJ disorders. This leaves the tubes horizontal, non draining, leaving a door wide open for infections.
Maybe you aren't worried about ear infections, maybe you are worried about the tonsils in your kiddo's mouth that are touching. Welp, Removing tonsils and adenoids can be a tempting solution for frequent infections, nasal breathing problems, or sleep apnea. However, it's important to remember that the immune tissue often regrows, potentially leading to the return of symptoms. This is where myofunctional therapy steps in. By training the soft tissues of the face, neck, and mouth, we can promote proper oral posture, swallowing patterns, and nasal breathing. This not only prevents regrowth of tonsil and adenoid tissue, but also reduces the risk of asthma and seasonal allergies, offering a holistic approach to long-term health. So, before rushing into surgery, consider exploring the potential of myofunctional therapy to rehabilitate your child's breathing and optimize their overall well-being.
The best part? OMT is often just as effective. Plus, it can address the underlying cause of the problem, preventing future issues down the line.
But don't just take our word for it. Check out these success stories from our families:
8-year-old Sarah snored so loudly her whole family lost sleep. After OMT, Sarah sleeps soundly and her family finally enjoys quiet nights.
5-year-old Liam had been through multiple rounds of ear tubes with no improvement ( starting at 13 months old). OMT helped strengthen the movement of his tongue and ensure the tongue was resting where it needed to be, eliminating the need for further surgery.
32-year-old Maya struggled with mouth breathing and chronic fatigue. She also had recurring ear infections and her body was sick of taking antibiotics. OMT improved her breathing patterns and boosted her energy levels and ... you guessed it... no more ear infections.
Ready to give the gift of sound sleep and healthy breathing? Contact us. Let's chat about how OMT can help your little one breathe, sleep, and shine!
Remember, a healthy orchestra leads to a beautiful symphony.
P.S. We also offer OMT for adults! If you struggle with snoring, sleep apnea, or TMJ pain, give us a call – we can help you find your voice (and your breath!) too.