Q: Hi Thank you so much for a wonderful and informative webinar! I have a question about my son who is 2 years old. He had both a lip and tongue tie (which was fixed), and is seen by an ENT. No abnormalities or obstructions noted. During the day he primarily breathes through his nose with a closed mouth posture. Occasionally he will have an open mouth posture, but after tonight, I learned his opening is at the correct height. My question is, at night he sleeps with his mouth open. He does have oral motor planning difficulties. I was not sure if this was related.
I too sleep with my mouth open, but I am an allergy sufferer, have a deviated septum and have had nasal surgeries. I am not sure if he is headed in that direction? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
A: Thank you for getting in touch.
It’s good that your 2 year old son is nose breathing most of the day, a positive sign! Do you think he mouth breathes all night long, or perhaps only during certain phases of sleep? If it is only occasional, it might not be a red flag, especially since daytime is good. As to whether oral motor planning is involved, I can’t answer that with the information available. My gut response is that in spite of oral motor planning difficulties, I would think the body’s automatic system would take care of breathing as needed.
As for your own situation, bear in mind that an orofacial myologist is not a sleep expert, and most certainly those of us who are SLPs cannot claim expertise in that area. To ascertain that, you would have to involve those in the medical fields, and perhaps have a sleep study done if you feel like your sleep is being disrupted and affecting your daily living in some ways…..overly tired when you should not be so during times of the day, other symptoms, etc. You can probably download the Epworth sleep screening questions and answer them to give you a better idea of your personal need for referral for sleep study. It’s just a simple questionnaire that takes a minute or two to answer.
I’m here if you have more questions, and thank you for getting in touch!