Airway Is King! Check Yours Today.
If you can’t breathe…nothing else matters. The majority of patients I see with jaw problems, headaches, neck pain, and most mouth breathers have underlying airway issues. A quick way to screen yourself is by assessing your Mallampati or Friedman classification score.
A Mallampati score is taken by sticking out the tongue as far as possible while breathing through the mouth. If the uvula and back of the throat are fully obstructed from view you score a Class IV. In a healthy airway, you typically can see the full uvula dangling in the back of the throat which would score a Class I. Click on Wikipedia to see pictures of the various classifications.
You can improve your airway by learning the principles in my book.
- Breathing in and out through your nose day and night. This is one of the greatest things you can do for your overall health.
- Sealing the lips and gently suctioning the front 2/3 of your tongue to the roof of your mouth whenever you are not talking or eating.
- Many of the exercises in The TMJ Healing Plan are also helpful in improving the airway.
In fact, a well respected meta-analysis showed that oral exercises, therapy and habit changes like those listed above can improve Obstructive Sleep Apnea by 50% in adults and 62% in children. Sleep apnea, snoring and sleep disordered breathing are critically important to address. A sleep medicine specialist and oral myofunctional therapist can help. Check your airway today.