A 2015 study titled Myofunctional Therapy to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis looked at a number of previous studies and concluded:
“Current literature demonstrates that myofunctional therapy decreases apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children. Lowest oxygen saturations, snoring, and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults. Myofunctional therapy could serve as an adjunct to other obstructive sleep apnea treatments.”
This couldn’t be truer. Myofunctional therapy is an incredibly effective component of any approach to treating sleep apnea.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Myofunctional therapy is a great place to start and address a mouth breathing habit. The reason children can experience such profound developmental changes from a mouth breathing habit is that their bones and structure can be easily changed and influenced. With children and the right intervention, we can remodel their facial structure far more easily than we can in adults.
Myofunctional therapy exercises can have a huge impact on adults too. In fact, some of my patients are in their 60’s and 70’s and they get great results as well. It’s never too late to address sleep apnea and other breathing or airway issues.