Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Your tongue serves so many functions. It’s the source of your sense of taste. It plays a vital role in your ability to chew, swallow, and speak. Your tongue also can have a significant impact—for good or bad—even when it is doing nothing but resting in the mouth. Specifically, the resting posture of your tongue can play a significant role in your appearance. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry would like to explain this relationship, and how we can use our principles of dentistry to alter facial growth and shape, even in adults.
When at rest, your tongue should remain pressed against the roof of your mouth with the mouth closed, lips together
Oral rest posture refers to what your mouth and tongue do when you are not eating or speaking. The ideal oral rest posture is as follows: lips closed, teeth closed, and tongue resting gently against the upper palate. Failing to achieve this posture can have a variety of different effects on you. In a child, it can lead to sub-optimal development of the jaws and facial structure. It can lead to narrower dental arches, and make you predisposed to issues with your airway, such as developing a sleep breathing disorder like sleep apnea. It even can affect your appearance by leading to a flat profile or severely recessed chin and protruding upper teeth. Being able to maintain the preferred oral rest posture, by contrast, can have many positive effects, especially for children, who will develop wider arches and encouraging straighter teeth.
The development of your facial structure is not fixed
The bones of your skull are held together by a set of fibrous joints, which are known as sutures. These sutures are not fused together; your body can continue to make new bone at these connections up until a person approaches their late 60s or early 70s. This is actually a good thing because it means that even adults can experience maxilla-facial redevelopment; in short, they can alter the structure of their face. This is made possible through Orthotropics®.
What is Orthotropics® and how can it help?
Orthotropics® is a treatment that was developed in 1966 by Dr. John Mew in England, and it seeks to encourage proper facial growth guidance. Using several different methods, Orthotropics® seeks to guide the upper and lower jaws to grow forward, as intended by nature. This treatment can change the facial structure and re-develop the jaws, either in still-growing children or adults who have stopped growing. There have been cases where Orthotropic treatment has produced significant positive changes in facial appearance in as little as one year—such as a more pronounced jaw, a more forward face, and a fuller midface, all of which typically are considered to be more physically attractive.
In most cases, Orthotropics® requires the use of oral appliances. These appliances are custom-made to make a unique, specific fit in the mouth of each individual patient. When worn, these oral appliances guide the jaws forward and encourage that ideal oral rest posture we mentioned earlier. Remember that the tongue is one of the more significant muscles in the body; by having it pressing against the upper palate, it exerts additional force on the maxilla, widening the midface and altering the facial structure in a more favorable manner.
Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian is considered one of the foremost practitioners of Orthotropics® today. A founding member of the North American Association of Facial Orthotropics, she was named President of that organization in the spring of 2018. She also has trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, which is considered the pre-eminent institution in North America for post-graduate dental study.
To learn more about Orthotropics® and its benefits, contact our office at (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry if you live in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, or Scotts Valley in California.