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  • Writer's pictureCAFF Team


Updated: Mar 30

Episode 43 of the Airway First podcast is now out! You can catch this and all other episodes on Apple, SoundCloud, Podbean, RSS, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And don't forget to check us out on YouTube!

Airway First Podcast with Joy Moeller

My guest today is the one and only, Joy Moeller. An international leader in myofunctional therapy, Joy has worked in private practice as a myofunctional therapist since 1980. She graduated from the Myofunctional Therapy Institute in Coral Gables, Florida, and had an extensive Internship in Orofacial Myology.

Joy's background in Dental Hygiene led the way for further studies, and she has taught and continues to teach principles of Myofunctional Therapy to graduate and post-graduate students and numerous universities as an adjunct professor and as a guest speaker.

You can find out more about Joy at

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy must be part of the treatment plan from the beginning. This way the patient understands from day one that the muscle adaptation is important for long term stability.~ Joy Moeller



Researchers used to think it was bottle feeding. It is now believed to have more to do with mouth breathing or oral habits such as thumb sucking or overuse of pacifiers and Sippy cups.

In addition to mouth breathing, a short frenum (also referred to as a tongue tie) may play a role in airway dysfunction as well. Signs and symptoms associated with myofunctional disorders include:

  • Crooked teeth or orthodontic relapse

  • Headaches

  • TMJD (jaw joint) pain

  • Forward head posture

  • Digestive disorders such as acid reflux or stomachaches from air swallowing

  • Sleep and breathing disorders

  • Oral lesion from tongue irritation

  • Gum disease

  • Psychological problems

  • Failure to thrive and other child development problems; trouble focusing in school; misdiagnosed ADHD

  • Middle-ear drainage issues or chronic ear infections

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

  • Drooling

  • Habits, such as nail biting, thumb sucking, hair chewing, lip or cheek biting


The consequences of a child's poor oral health go far beyond tooth decay and gum disease. Oral health also encompasses your child's jaw alignment and oral cavity --- both of which can impact your child's ability to breathe properly.

Mouth breathing (often caused due airway dysfunction) can have long-term impacts on both your child's oral and long-term health including:

  • Decreasing your child's quality of sleep ---- causing sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing

  • Causing poorly functioning auto-immune system

  • Decreasing brain function and lower IQ up to 10 points --- can also be misdiagnosed as having ADHD

  • Impacting speech and swelling capabilities

  • Increasing risk for dental complications

  • Causing anxiety, panic attacks, and aggressive behavior

  • Posture problems and muscle fatigue

Additionally, mouth breathing causes your child's mouth to dry out, which in turn, creates a damaging effect on the normal process of the oral cavity. A dry mouth can increase acidity, putting your child at greater risk of gum disease.

Download Brochure from AOMT

Find a pediatric dentist that is airway focused and a myofuntional therapist for your child. Prevention is key. ~ Joy Moeller


Education is the first step for any parent concerned about their child's ability to breathe, sleep, and maintain proper oral health.

The Children's Airway First Foundation Resource library has information that can aid in identifying symptoms and providing guidance on the first steps towards helping your child with an airway disorder.

As with any medical condition, consult your child's pediatrician should you see any of these symptoms in your child or if you suspect your child is suffering from an airway disorder.


Accomplished, by Karese Laguerre

Do you have jaw pain? Sleep apnea? Do you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose? How about migraines, badly aligned teeth, or just bad teeth?

Your tongue may be to blame! This book on myofunctional therapy can help.

Orofacial MyofunctionalTherapy(MT) is the neurological re-education of the orofacial muscles. It is a rehabilitation therapy program designed to re-pattern teeth, jaw, and soft tissue functions such as chewing, swallowing and breathing. This is accomplished through the use of therapeutic techniques and positive behavioral modification.

“A valuable collection of sage advice and insights from the OGs of Myofunctional Therapy.” Don't wait! Let Joy guide you to better health and happiness with her patented techniques!

Airway Health for Children Parenting Resources

Airway First and Children's Airway First on YouTube

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