Myofunctional Orthodontics to improve jugular vein flow

This is just a personal experience, so take it with a grain of salt.

I participated in a study looking at Internal Jugular Vein flow through ultrasound and various mouth and tongue positions. A Dentist collaborating with Dr. Hauser noticed that many of their patients with reduced IJV flow had similar dental and airflow issues, and could see increased IJV flow with certain tongue and jaw positions.

I don’t think the study is published yet, but the Dentist strongly recommended I look at myo dentistry, which is currently rare. Myofunctional orthodontics is a way to restructure the mouth and jaw in a way that also re-aligns the teeth, improves air flow (tracheal and nasal), and supposedly makes people look better. It’s similar to braces, which just align the teeth, only it applies force beyond the gum line. It also involves some physical exercises and a slightly modified diet.

Although this works better for children, it’s worked with older adults if a bit slower. I’m over 40, and am seeing an improvement just 6 months into a 2 year plan. It’s easier for me to hold my tongue in a position which increases my IJV flow, and it feels like my neck is less tight since my lower jaw is starting to come forward.

Issues going in: narrow mouth, jugular vein issues, crooked lower teeth, could not breath through nose about 90% of time, deviated septum, snoring.

Already better: wider upper jaw, better breathing, less snoring, slightly less IJV symptoms, can breath through nose about 80% of the time.

It is pricey (requiring monthly dental visits), but has worked for me better than chiropractic has, and helps with nose breathing which comes with its own benefits (like getting sick less often).

I don’t think this will ever work as an alternative to a styloidectomy, but every bit helps.

Downsides: it’s slow, expensive, mildly uncomfortable, and you’ll talk like you have potatoes in your mouth because essentially, with the orthotics in place, you do.


WOW! Super interesting info, @McLean. Thank you for sharing this. I haven’t heard of a Myofunctional Orthodontist so something new for me. I did have braces from age 48-50 because my TMJ was so bad my jaw constantly locked when I yawned (ouch!). The braces were more to realign my bite than straighten my teeth though I got the benefit of both. It helped a lot w/ my TMJ issues for about 6 -7 years then things started going south again, but that’s when I was diagnosed w/ ES. I will say my TMJ troubles are still there but haven’t been as bothersome since my styloids were removed.


I forgot to mention that this therapy has had success with TMJ and TMD, which seems to affect a lot of people. There are also exercises that have come out of research and practice that might help with TMJ without orthodontics, and can also help with snoring. I cannot vouch for anything in particular; I’m getting specific exercises from my dentist. If you’re willing to take risks and try to vet results yourself, search terms like ‘myofascial tongue exercises’ and ‘myofunctional therapy’ might work.


Really interesting @Mclean, glad that you’ve seen some improvements, and thanks for posting this info!

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Thank u for posting. Is your dentist in the Ft Myers area? We have seen Dr. Hauser but did not have a good experience.

No, my dentist is in Ontario. You’d have to search for someone that does this. I found my dentist through this site:

You’ll need to make sure they can do this for adults, as some dentists just do the orthodontics for kids.

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Thank you and good luck to you!

Thank you for sharing this very interesting info. I notice that when I do what I would describe as tongue isometrics (lolz) by applying about 50% maximum force of my tongue into the roof of my mouth for 10 seconds x 5, with about 10 seconds rest between each rep, I feel mentally clearer and less headache/head pressure/aural fullness immediately afterwards. Unfortunately its fairly short lived, but I think perhaps with time this effect could last longer and longer with regular practice. One can hope, right?

I also think this case report that was shared to me by the leading author of this study just over a year ago is highly relevant…

Sci-Hub | Idiopathic intracranial hypertension eliminated by counterclockwise maxillomandibular advancement: a case report. CRANIO®, 35(4), 259–267 | 10.1080/08869634.2016.1201634


Interesting about the tongue exercises. My tongue was partially paralyzed by my first ES surgery (glossopharyngeal nerve was wrapped around my styloid so had to be moved excessively). My tongue hasn’t fully recovered. I did a bit of tongue PT a few years ago then quit. I think it’s time to jump back on the wagon!


Darn I’m sorry to hear that. I can’t help noticing that long term post surgery nerve issues seems to be a much more common occurrence than I first thought… Anyway, yeah I definitely think its worth pursuing again. Keep us updated how it goes.

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I know this study was done in elderly folk but I’m kind of blown away by the widespread systemic effect three months of tongue isometric exercises had on these patients…

Effect of Isometric Tongue Lifting Exercise on Oral Function, Physical Function, and Body Composition in Community-Dwelling Older Individuals: A Pilot Study - Abstract - Gerontology 2022, Vol. 68, No. 6 - Karger Publishers

“After the intervention, oral function increased significantly together with a significant improvement in physical function, open-eyed one-leg standing time, sit-to-stand motion, and 3-m TUG. For body composition, visceral fat level and basal metabolic rate decreased significantly. Although no significant change in body composition was observed in the physical frailty/pre-frailty group after the intervention, significant improvements in several items were observed in the robust group. Conclusion: Isometric tongue lifting exercise can effectively improve oral function. Furthermore, it might affect physical function and body composition.”


Sounds miraculous! Who would have thought the tongue had so much power to influence our wellbeing!!


Thanks for sharing, this is certainly interesting! I had orthodontic work down back when I was 15 years old, and part of that included a palate expander. I got severe headaches from it at the time, and have been sensitive to having headaches since. I also had a tonsillectomy around the same time. With my current Eagles diagnosis I’ve certainly wondered whether all the orthodontic work could have created some
of the IJV compression I’m experiencing. From what you’ve shared, that seems very plausible!


You’ve presented a new possible contributor to ES, @MsBearshark! I never thought about orthodontia & the forces it applies in the mouth as a potential cause, but it makes a lot of sense. Excellent insight!!