Did you know you may have some bad oral habits that you may not even notice? These can include actions just as lip sucking, finger sucking, biting your nails or chewing on items like pens or pencils. If you’re also grinding your teeth, these things could be contributing to issues with your jaw health and leave you with the discomfort of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD. While trying to stop these behaviors consciously may help, the biggest thing to consider is how your mouth is constructed and how this makeup is contributing to your jaw discomfort.
Oral Rest Posture
Is the tip of your tongue resting on the floor of your mouth? Does it rest against your top teeth? Or is it between your top and bottom jaws when you’re not eating or talking? Are your lips apart when your mouth is at rest? We’re asking because we are concerned about your oral rest posture, also known as the resting mouth position. Oral rest posture is the term used to describe the location of the tongue, lips and jaw when the mouth is at rest.
Good Oral Posture
Ideal oral posture is when the tongue is against the roof of your mouth. Your tongue should not touch the back of your front upper teeth, and your teeth should be slightly apart. Your lips should close over the teeth without stretching. Take a minute to think about your oral rest posture. Is what we described what is happening in your mouth?
Does It Really Matter?
Yes, it actually does. Here’s why. Oral rest posture is absolutely critical for your overall health. It’s important because it makes you breathe through your nose, which is better for you overall and allows you to get more oxygen. Nasal breathing is also essential because breathing through the nose helps to remove pollutants and germs, helps to warm up the air before it goes to your lungs, and gives the air a dose of nitric oxide (produced in the sinuses) before it reaches the lungs. Nitric oxide is beneficial because it kills bacteria and viruses and helps to open the heart’s blood vessels.
What Can Improve Oral Rest Posture?
One thing is myofunctional therapy, an approach that helps to retrain the muscles of the mouth to function correctly. Myofunctional therapy helps to improve breathing, swallowing, chewing and oral rest posture. Other benefits include improved breathing (a return to nasal breathing over mouth breathing), improved posture and enhanced facial appearance.
Want to improve your oral rest posture? Call Dr. Ron Konig in Houston today at 713-668-2289 for more information about myofunctional therapy and how we can help!