YOGA BURRA forms part of The Breathing Clinic & Wellness where Tina Taylor offers services in Orofacial Myology helping children discontinue non-nutritive sucking habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, dummy sucking and tongue sucking.
These seemingly harmless little oral habits change the resting position of the tongue inside the mouth. Instead of the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth, these habits cause a “low tongue resting posture”, which means the tongue sits low in the mouth. A low tongue resting posture can have a profound effect on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity and upper airway if this habit continues over a prolonged period of time. For example:
- When the tongue sits low in the mouth it cannot exert its natural outward pressure to counteract the inward pressure of the muscles of the face. Over time, the inward pressure of the facial muscles causes the upper jaw to become V-shaped (rather than being U-shaped). This has the effect of reducing the space available for the teeth to properly and fully erupt leading to crowded, crooked, misaligned teeth.
- Mouth breathing and non-nutritive sucking habits can also lead to retraction of the lower jaw, which means the lower jaw sits back from its natural resting position. This means the base of the tongue (which attaches to the lower jaw) also sits back in the throat more than it should. This can predispose children to snoring and sleep apnoea, especially in a supine position i.e. when resting on the back. A retracted lower jaw may also create problems for the temporomandibular joint, which joins the upper and lower jaws near the ear. This can lead to impingement of the Eustachian tubes, which extend from the oral cavity to the inner ears causing hearing problems.
- When the upper jaw becomes V-shaped (rather than being U-shaped), this can cause the roof of the mouth (palatal arch) to become high and narrow. The roof of the mouth also forms the base of the nasal cavity, and when the roof of the mouth becomes high and narrow this can affect the size and shape of the nasal cavity, which can lead to problems with sinus drainage and airflow, making nasal breathing more difficult and causing or reinforcing mouth breathing.
- These changes can also lead to poor lip seal, and may compromise the proper, natural movement of the tongue leading to difficulty eating, chewing and swallowing food or liquid. Speech and articulation can also be affected by poor control of the shape and movement of the tongue.
At The Breathing Clinic & Wellness Centre we offer information sessions about Children’s Oral Habits to illustrate the effects of oral habits (when they are chronic or prolonged), to help parents make informed decisions about their children’s health and wellbeing before these habits lead to more serious problems requiring medical or orthodontic intervention. We also offer a range of programmes to help children restore healthy breathing patterns and discontinue sucking habits like thumb sucking in kind and caring ways.
For more information please contact us.