How long can you live without food or water? How long can you live without oxygen? Only a few minutes! It is crucial to have an airway that is functioning properly and efficiently.
Another piece to our overall health is how does our airway look and function? Something I evaluate on ALL my clients now. This is not in routine intra-oral evaluations completed in your dental office. Let’s begin with a normal airway, what does this look like and why is this important?
First airway is my main concern. If the airway is restricted and closed off it will be more challenging for my clients to breathe through their nose. When the airway is open and nothing is blocking therapy will progress quickly. Think of your airway like drinking a milkshake with a coffee stir stick or a larger diameter straw made for milkshakes. If your airway is blocked by enlarged tonsils and adenoids that restriction will be like sucking a milkshake through a coffee stir stick. If your airway is not blocked but your soft palate is low, then again you are sucking a milk shake through a coffee stir stick, that is a lot of work. Your airway being restricted make you snore, mouth breather, congested, and tired. Who wants to be tired all day? That is why I evaluate everyone’s airway before I begin Myofunctional therapy.
How do I know what a healthy airway looks like? Pictured are the various airway sizes and classifications. What does yours look like? Can you see? If you look like the one in the lower right most likely have a CPAP and severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Signs of OSA are dry mouth in the morning, restless sleep, snoring, gasping for air, wake up with headache, behavior issues, or lethargic through day.
Systemic Review & Meta-Analysis concluded, “Myofunctional therapy decreases apena-hypopnea index by 50% in adults and 62% in children.” Sleep Vol 38 Issue 5 1 May 2015
That is impressive progress, especially when the CPAP mask’s are intolerable. I work with all ages from infant to experienced adult to identify and improve the airway. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is an exercise based program that improves and restores and re-patterns muscles to function naturally.
Every provider needs to ask clients how they are sleeping and look at their airway. We need to be multidisciplinary in our client care in order to benefit our clients the most!
Contact me for your FREE 30 minute ASSESSMENT to see if I can Help You Be A Healthier You!