WHAT CAN INFLUENCE FACIAL DEVELOPMENT?
It’s not just about genetics….
• Function of the oral musculature
• Nasal vs Mouth breathing
• What and how we eat
The orofacial complex consists of an intricate pattern of muscles, all serving crucial purposes for breathing, speech and feeding, to name a few. These muscles both within and surrounding the craniofacial structure play a significant role in the development of these bones. Given this knowledge, we are increasingly learning of just how much these muscles are the underlying cause of malocclusions if they are not functioning as required.
Together, our dentists and therapists collaborate to differentially diagnose any
oromyofunctional disorders that may be affecting a child’s jaw development and liaise together to treat effectively and holistically.
Breathing disorders have increasingly become at the forefront of research as the inability to nasal breathe or habitual tendency to mouth breathe has been linked with a longer facial development, lip incompetency, incorrect resting posture of the tongue, feeding and behavioural and learning difficulties.
Mouth breathing during the day usually translates to mouth breathing during sleep, bringing with that a myriad of issues a child or adult can experience as a result. Knowing the signs and symptoms of sleep disordered breathing and seeking early treatment can make all the difference to a person’s quality of life, development and functioning.
Nasal Breathing not only facilitates correct lip and tongue posture, it ensures the air we breathe is humidified, filtered and moistened as it passes through the nasal turbinates. There is also growing evidence of the importance of the naturally occurring Nitric Oxide which is found to be picked up en route to the lungs when nasal breathing.