How to Treat Lip Incompetence

An inability to maintain a lips together, closed mouth posture at rest is known as lip incompetence. Patients with lip incompetence display strain in the muscles around their face when they attempt to seal their lips.

Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common causes of lip incompetence. This condition is defined as a nasal inflamation that is the result of airborne allergens. It often leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Since patients with lip incompetence have a difficult time breathing comfortably through their nose, they breathe through their mouth.

Research has revealed that children who regularly breathe through their mouth are at risk of orofacial changes because they are still growing and developing. Over time, lip incompetence can limit forward growth and give a child a long, narrow face. When this occurs, many children develop an overbite or crossbite.

If your child is struggling with lip incompetence, it’s important to bring them to the orthodontist as soon as possible. Dr. Jason Gladwell will evaluate their mouth and design a treatment plan that addresses the challenges lip incompetence typically causes.

He may recommend a palate expander to widen your child’s mouth or a Herbst appliance to pull their upper jaw and promote backward growth. Orofacial myofunctional therapy, which involves exercises that activate certain facial muscles may be another option. Lip repositioning may also be recommended. Our great friend and Tampa dermatologist Dr. Amy Ross has explained to us that more skincare patients are realizing the importance of oral health.

Schedule an Appointment at Gladwell Orthodontics

Contact Gladwell Orthodontics at (919) 453-6325 if your child is struggling with lip incompetence. Dr. Gladwell will design an approprate treatment plan that can improve your child’s condition, health, and confidence.