– TMJ Clicking/Popping
– Poor posture
– Mouth breathing at night
– Difficulty breathing during sports/physical activities
– Neck/Shoulder pain
– Teeth misalignment
– Difficulty sleeping
– Do not feel rested, even with a full night’s sleep
– Frequent cavities, despite proper oral hygiene
My Clinical Symptoms
As I started doing myofunctional therapy with my clients, I started noticing clinical signs of my TOTs/OMD as well
– Improper rest posture
– Inability to elevate back of tongue at rest/swallow
– Improper intake when cup and straw drinking
– Insufficient chewing to break down foods for swallow
– Significant nasal collapse
All of these symptoms are signs of orofacial myofunctional disorders!
I started doing myofunctional exercises on my own to improve my rest posture and swallow. My next step was to go to an airway dentist. I went to Dr. Lupita Roca and have nothing but excellent things to say about her. She did a thorough examination, sent me for a CBCT scan of my airway, and had me wear a sleep ring for two nights to analyze my sleep. We were both shocked at the results.
My airway is incredibly narrow (shown in the picture above). I originally went to Dr. Roca hoping to release my tongue tie. After seeing the scan, she knew that releasing my tongue would cause even more obstruction and difficulty breathing. Her suggestion was to do maxiliary skeletal expansion (MSE) to expand my palate to make more room for my tongue, which would in turn keep my tongue out of my airway. I was hoping to get a removable device to wear at night such as the Homeobloc or the Vivos DNA. The news that I needed a more invasive and permanent device was quite a shock!
I decided to move forward and got a Miniscrew-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (MARPE) device. This device has 6 small screws anchoring it to my palate. I use a little wrench to turn the device to expand my palate each day. Because my maxilla (upper jaw) is also retruded, I have to wear reverse-pull headgear 12-16 hours a day as well to help pull my upper jaw forward (to create even more space in my airway).