Associated Health Problems

Health Problems Associated With OMD

Tongue Thrust: When a patient swallows incorrectly, the tongue may press against the back of the teeth or push teeth out of place. For children, the pressure may even prevent teeth from breaking through the gums.

Facial Distortion: Known as malocclusion, patients may develop a misalignment of their upper and lower teeth. And when oral posture is incorrect, patients may also experience the following facial changes:

  • Dull, sluggish appearance (due to weak facial muscles)

  • Parted Lips

  • Facial grimace (the tightening of the cheeks, chin, and lips)

  • Mouth Breathing in general has been correlated with a number of health problems such as asthma, allergies, respiratory infections and ear infections.

Lisp: When your tongue and lip muscles are abnormally postured, you may develop a lisp or have trouble forming sounds in regular speech.

Sleep Apnea: When orofacial muscles are weak or underdeveloped, they may disrupt regular airflow, causing patients to experience sleep disordered breathing (i.e. snoring or sleep apnea).

Children And Adults Benefit From Myofunctional Therapy

At Crested Butte Dental, we believe that developing the airway is key to long term effectiveness of orthodontics and may incorporate myofunctional exercises into your orthodontic treatment. We have found that between ages seven and ten years is a great time to start myofunctional therapy and can really augment the success of your orthodontic treatment.

We recommend myofunctional therapy all the time for adults as well. Adults that we treat are normally suffering from poor sleep, headaches, and tiredness. Typically, we like each patient to take a sleep test prior to commencing therapy as a baseline. This way we know that there is not a severe apnea issue that needs to be treated immediately and gives us a baseline for where each patient is at.

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Sleep Apnea & TMD

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is wide ranging condition that can effect all people regardless of age, sex, weight, or health. Research is now showing that snoring and teeth grinding are signs of a bigger problem with SDB. According to, it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed. Unfortunately, there is no easy one size fits all cure. For many the condition is rooted in jaw/teeth positioning as well as how we breathe. Our goal is to work with your primary care physician to gather necessary data and devise a plan custom to you. We can improve sleep with better breathing through myo functional therapy, custom sleep appliances, as well as Nightlase snoring reduction procedure with our Lightwalker twin laser.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) manifests in many different forms. Pain in the joint and corresponding muscles can be debilitating and life altering. TMD is often a result of underlying sleep disorders. If the body is not getting enough air at night it will push the jaw into a forward position. This repetitive process can result in muscle and joint disease. Additionally, trauma and tooth position can result in increased wear on the small cartilage disc in the joint and lead to a degenerative disorder of the joint. Clicking and popping can be an early sign of problems to come. If you have any limitations in movement or discomfort we can help slow or even reverse the degenerative process in the joint.

We customize our TMD treatment to each patient. It may involve starting with a sleep test, nightguard, or we may recommend a “Bite-Balancing” procedure with our TekScan called DTR (Disclusion Time Reduction)