What Your Lips Say About Your Oral Health

what your lips sayThousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, CA

Ever heard the expression that “loose lips sink ships”? When it comes to your oral health, loose lips—meaning not being able to keep your lips and mouth closed—can be more detrimental than you may realize.

This inability to maintain a lip seal is known as lip incompetence. It occurs when a person cannot maintain a comfortable resting posture with lips and mouth closed. When someone with lip incompetence does attempt to close their lips and mouth, it strains the surrounding facial muscles to the point the strain can be seen visibly.

Lip incompetence literally can change the shape of your face. Why does this happen? Due to the absence of a lip seal, your other orofacial muscles have to work harder by overcompensating all of the time. Lip incompetence can cause other oral health issues, such as problems with tooth eruption, crooked teeth and jaw joint function. Breathing and swallowing also can be hindered.

The recommended treatment method for lip incompetence is a regimen of orofacial myofunctional therapy. This therapy, which is also known as OMT, works to resolve poor oral habits or other orofacial problems through a series of simple and pain-free exercises. These exercises work the lips, mouth, tongue and orofacial muscles. In the case of lip incompetence, the goal of orofacial therapy is to attain a comfortable resting posture of the lips and mouth. OMT also can correct other problems, including jaw alignment issues, tongue posture and negative habits like tongue thrust.

For patients with lip incompetence, OMT is recommended at as young an age as possible. This is because a person’s lips stop growing at the age of 13 years old. Adults also can benefit from myofunctional therapy, however.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of myofunctional therapy, or you think you or a member of your family has lip incompetence, then contact call The Connection in Agoura Hills, CA at (805) 380-6169 to schedule a consultation.

The Connection provides oral health care with a holistic approach for patients in the Agoura Hills and Westlake Village communities of southern California.

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