Have you ever been told to stand up straight?
Stop slouching? Keep your shoulders back and your chin up? What about put your tongue behind your top teeth? Keep your jaw in the correct position? Make sure your teeth do not touch? While some of these phrases you have probably heard as a reminder to mind your posture, we are willing to bet that the last few you have never heard or considered to be related to posture at all. But, did you know that you should mind the position of your mouth, too? While this may sound strange, oral rest posture is a real thing and something to really be concerned about. Find out why you should mind your mouth in this blog from Millennium Smiles.
What is Oral Rest Posture?
Oral rest posture, also known as resting mouth position, is the position of our tongue, lips, and jaw when our mouth is at rest (i.e., not talking, chewing, or swallowing). Ideal oral rest posture means the tongue is all the way against the roof of your mouth without touching the back of your front teeth, the teeth are slightly apart, and the lips can close without stretching.
Why Is Oral Rest Posture Important?
Proper oral rest posture is important because it allows us to breathe easier and through the nose, encourages proper jaw growth, will enable us to speak clearly and contributes to healthy teeth.
Signs of Poor Oral Rest Posture?
Can you have poor oral posture? We know it sounds weird, but yes, you can. Here are physical signs to look for:
- Mouth is open at rest
- Breathing through the mouth
- Tongue tip is pushing against the front teeth
- Tongue is protruding
- Lower jaw is hanging forward
Consequences of Poor Oral Rest Position
Just some of the effects of a poor oral rest position include:
- Malocclusion of the bite (underbite, overbite, protruding front teeth, or crowded teeth)
- Sleep apnea
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty focusing and behaviors that mimic ADD/ADHD
- Poor oral hygiene and tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
- Orofacial muscular imbalance
- Articulation problems or difficulty speaking
- Tongue thrust swallow
Poor oral rest posture can also contribute to abnormal facial feature and jaw development, such as:
- protruding jaws
- deep bite
- open bite
- long face syndrome.
When the tongue is not in the proper rest position, it can even affect how the neck, shoulders, and back develop.
What Should You Do About Poor Oral Rest Posture?
Poor oral rest posture can be treated through myofunctional therapy and other oral therapies. Call Dr. Korous at 972-987-4899 to schedule an evaluation for yourself or your child if you believe that you have an improper oral rest posture.