Swallowing

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Correct swallowing depends on a proper relationship between muscles of the face, mouth and throat.The act of swallowing is one function that depends on the body’s vital balance.


To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together in harmony. When a person swallows normally, the tip of the tongue presses firmly against the roof of the mouth or hard palate, located slightly behind the front teeth.


The tongue acts in concert with all the other muscles involved in swallowing. The hard palate, meanwhile, absorbs the force created by the tongue.


Poor eating and drinking patterns (open mouth chewing, inability to chew properly, huge bites, eats too fast or slow, gas/burping/hiccups, stomach aches, saliva pooling).

 

Normal Swallow

  • The normal swallow, once an infant has transitioned to solid foods, is with the tongue completely in the roof of the mouth (palate).
  • Some of the chewing muscles are active during swallowing but none of the muscles offacial expression are activated during the correct swallow.
  • The teeth contact together during a normal swallow.

Abnormal Swallow

  • An abnormal swallow is sometimes also known as a tongue thrust swallow, a reverse swallow, deviant swallow, or atypical swallow.
  • Different disciplines and groups have assigned different names to a swallow that is not normal.
  • An abnormal swallow can affect the development of the jaws and teeth significantly.
  • With an abnormal swallow, various muscles of facial expression are used and since a person typically swallows between one and two thousand times a day these muscles become hypertrophied (overly toned).
  • These overly toned muscles in the chin, lips, and cheeks appear to create an abnormal force on the jaws and teeth that influence the growth and development of the jaws and teeth.
  • This imbalance of muscle forces appears to be part of the environmental influences that are causing orthodontic problems.
  • There are many variations in which muscles are overly toned and various resultant effects on the teeth and jaws.


My Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy programs include:

1. Habit elimination therapy.
2. Exercises to improve nasal breathing and oral facial functions.
3. Teaching and promoting proper chewing, breathing, and swallowing.
4. Re-patterning head and neck posture problems.
5. Generalization and habituation of the new muscle patterns.  
6. Emotional balancing


Parental involvement is very important to a child's success, and key to that success is a supportive environment that provides consistent encouragement and motivation necessary for positive and permanent change.

 

 

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