What is Integrative Therapy?
The way we breathe and use the muscles of the face, cheeks and lips, have an impact on how the jaws, faces and teeth develop. Ultimately, when the face and jaws don’t grow to the ideal size or proportions, the airway doesn’t grow enough for normal function.
If our airway is compromised enough, it has a chronic negative impact on brain function and overall health. The nervous system becomes stuck in fight or flight mode and healing is compromised.
There are a few things that must happen for the face, jaws, and airway to develop properly:
1. Breathing quietly through the nose day and night, even during most exercise and while sleeping
2. Lips are closed gently together with relaxed facial muscles, unless eating or talking
3. Tongue resting flat against the roof of the mouth, except when talking and eating
4. Swallowing should happen without excessive facial muscle and head movements
If these aren’t happening from birth through age 7, the body will be subjected to negative consequences that reach far into our adult years. An open airway is the brain’s number one priority. To maintain this airway space, the body will develop postural compensations (protective ways of standing, sitting, sleeping and moving that may be damaging to muscles and joints).
Signs of Dysfunctional Growth & Development
- Open Mouth Posture
- Mouth Breathing
- Chapped Lips, Lip Licking, Nail Biting
- Swollen gums
- Visible Gums Above the Upper Front Teeth When Fully Smiling
- Asymmetric, unbalanced facial growth patterns
- Long Faces and Recessive Chins
- Underbites with Small Upper Jaws and Prominent Chins
- Dark Circles and/or Bags Under the Eyes
- Behavioral Challenges, ADHD-type Behavior, Executive Function Concerns
- School Performance Getting Worse
- Foggy Thinking, Poor Memory
- Noisy Eating and Drooling
- Crowded, Crooked Teeth
- Feeding Issues, Breastfeeding Difficulties
- Speech Issues
- Lack of Spaces Between Baby Teeth or Crowding of New Teeth
- Teeth That Don’t Touch the Opposing Teeth When Biting
- Frequent Stuffy Noses, Colds, Allergies or Asthma
- Swollen Tonsils and Adenoids
- Ear Infections/Eustachian Tube Reflux
- Affected Hearing or Ringing in the Ears
- Tongue Tie and/or Lip Tie
- Tongue Thrusting
- Facial Muscles Moving on Swallowing
- Pacifiers, Sippy Cups, Thumb/Finger Sucking
- Snoring or Loud Breathing During Sleep
- Forward head posture and Poor General Posture
- Headaches, Pain in the Jaws or Neck
- Restless/Poor Sleep, Nightmares, Bedwetting
- Daytime Sleepiness or Cranky Behavior in Young Children
- Scalloped Pattern Visible on the Sides of the Tongue
Example of Dark Circles/Bags
Upper jaw skeletal deficiencies leading to venous pooling under the eyes. Proper drainage can be restored by increasing the size of upper jaw through our treatment.
Example of Forward Head Posture
The forward head posture is the position her brain has figured out is needed to maximally open her airway. The other postural changes are needed to maintain balance.
Our Integrative Treatments
Myology means the study of “muscle”. Oral myology deals with the movements and functions of all the mouth muscles during rest, chewing, swallowing, and breathing.
Having the muscles functioning correctly is important, though we are never taught it. Many activities “teach” the muscles from birth on, and often the wrong habits are established. Then, the muscles influence the growth of the face, jaws, and teeth improperly, resulting in a number of early warning signs.
The way to learn how to use these muscles correctly is private lessons from an Oral Myofunctional Therapist (OMT). The OMT can be a dental hygienist, speech pathologist, and sometimes a dentist, osteopath or chiropractor, who has had specialty training in this area. Some OMT’s are certified through one of a select few organizations.
OMT’s offer a series of one-on-one sessions that are designed to:
- Break down complex movements into very basic muscle activities
- Combine basic movements into balanced, coordinated functions
- Make these new functions a habit
Sacro Occipital Technique
S.O.T. is a gentle, highly analytical chiropractic technique which was developed by Dr. M.B. DeJarnette. It was one of the earliest techniques (dating back to 1925) and remains one of the most progressive, contemporary, and thoroughly researched techniques available to chiropractors today. In S.O.T., the doctor understands three main subluxation patterns alter normal body function. S.O.T. is also the only chiropractic technique that incorporates specialized, proven TMJ/orthodontic co-treatment protocols.
Craniopathy is a specialized Chiropractic field dealing with the micro motion and distortions of the skull. This technique improves the flow of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (C.S.F.) which is dependent on a stable, balanced cranium, spine and pelvis. Correcting cranial distortions reducing cranial stress that improving C.S.F. flow restoring normal functioning to the brain and nervous system.
Cranial Dental Integration
Cranial dental therapy is a team approach that includes two primary specialists: a specially trained chiropractor and dentist. Together, they cross diagnose and treat TMJ and sleep apnea related problems in a step-by-step process that maximizes the speed to alleviating pain and discomfort.