Dry chapped lips are a nuisance to have. What is the cause of dry lips? Mouth Breathing, even having your lips apart just slightly allows oxygen to transfer through your mouth instead of your nose. There are other health conditions that correspond with dry lips and it come back to orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD). Basically your facial muscles are not engaging correctly and when your body compensates for these variations other medical conditions arise. Like dry mouth which alters the oral biome. Oral bacteria adapt to the dryer environment and tend to become more virulent. (Weiler RM1, Fisberg M, Barroso AS, Nicolau J, Simi R, Siqueira WL Jr.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 May;70(5):799-805. Epub 2005 Oct 19.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16242785)
Another cause of mouth breathing increases congestion. The nose is made to breathe and the mouth to eat. When the mouth is used for breathing the body adapts and the nasal cavity becomes more congested. Patrick McKeown discusses overbreathing in Oxygen Advantage along with the specifics of how mouth breathing, yawning, sleepiness, daytime tiredness, and mouth breathing during exercise is making our bodies work harder. All of these are signs of orofacial myofunctional disorders.
How do we improve our health and no longer have dry chapped lips? Re-educating your nerves and muscles to learn new habits. That is what I do as an orofacial myofunctional therapist. After completing a full evaluation to see what your needs are I create a custom plan specific to your needs to improve muscle tone and strength.
Other Signs and Symptoms of OMD:
Picky eating: food and texture aversion
Choking, vomiting, gagging foods or liquids
Food falling out of mouth, use fingers to move food in mouth, pocketing food in cheeks, and food getting trapped in cheeks.
Speech issue: delay and/or lisp
Digestive issues: constipation, reflux, and IBS
Migraines and Headaches
Behavior issues and ADHD like symptoms
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
Sleep apnea, snoring or night terrors
Bedwetting or issues toilet training
Dental and oral health issues: cavities and bad breath
Chronic ear infections
Sinus or allergy issues
Malocclusion or crooked teeth, requiring braces
Jaw issue or TMJ, grinding teeth
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