My son's story
Due to an injury to his face, my youngest son Ari's two front teeth exfoliated prematurely at two-and-a-half years of age, resulting in early speech problems. Following speech therapy, it was clear that his tongue placement was still incorrect during swallowing and at rest. I had the perfect opportunity while recovering from my neck injury to search for pictures and videos to show my son proper tongue placement. Through this process I discovered the field of orofacial myology and, consequently, a new realization of my own history of orofacial myofunctional disorders.
As a child, I could not breathe through my nose and a minor surgery did little to remedy the situation. The morning after every slumber party friends would go into great detail about my snoring, describing my apneic-like events. Because I couldn't breathe through my nose, I was unable to keep my tongue up and developed a long, narrow face with a lower jaw pulled back (retrognathia). I had severe malocclusion, a vaulted palate, and could not keep my lips together. As was done in those days, extractions and orthodontics were completed. Addressing my airway seemed secondary. Only later on in life, weary of disrupting others' sleep, did I decide to go ahead with surgery, not ever thinking about my airway, but rather the embarrassment of snoring. After the removal of tonsils and adenoids and turbinate reduction, I could really breathe through my nose for the first time. Now, looking back, I realize what a detriment not being able to breathe through my nose was and the drastic effects it had on my craniofacial development and overall health.
Because of my own airway issues I developed an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder, as a result of a low resting tongue rather than a tongue that is able to rest on the palate, or roof of the mouth. These disorders are typically related to airway issues and can have a trickle effect causing many other health related problems. Because of my son's and my own issues, I have a desire to help others prevent the many issues related to orofacial myofunctional disorders and do whatever possible to protect the airway. In January of 2018 I pursued therapy for my son as I started my own educational journey to become an orofacial myologist.
Helping kids and adults like me is my passion and desire as an orofacial myologist. If these issues can be addressed early on, many problems associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders and airway can be prevented. When they are missed, my desire is to help facilitate new behaviors and modalities of treatment that can aid in better overall health for the remainder of life..