A proper swallow is important for many reasons, not the least of which is, it helps pump the fluid surrounding our brain and helps circulate our cerebral spinal fluid. It also assists with equalizing pressure in the ears by helping to open and close the Eustachian tubes. When swallowing incorrectly, the body compensates by recruiting other muscles to help with the job. These patterns over use some muscles while under using others. They can develop for a variety of reasons including tethered or restricted oral tissues limiting tongue movement, or inadequate airway space. Some signs of an incorrect swallow pattern are an open anterior bite and/or tongue thrusting, which is the forward pushing of the tongue against the teeth during swallowing either anteriorly or laterally. Compensatory habits can cause malocclusion, orthodontic relapse, and other dental problems. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) focuses on the oral preparatory phase of swallowing. In one study by Hahn and Hahn in 1992, 70-80% of individuals who received myofunctional therapy were still swallowing correctly 5 years after treatment, maintaining correct lingual resting posture day and night, and had habituated consistent nasal breathing. If you have experienced orthodontic relapse, or have an open bite, contact Breathworks Myofunctional Therapy for a FREE 30-mintue Screening to discuss how we can help!