The OrthoSmile™ Newsletter

What's New on the Block?

Monday, February 7, 2011


2011-2 Newsletter

The tongue position is reflexively controlled by the jaw position (the jaw-tongue reflex). The tongue movement of mammals is intimately coordinated with jaw movement during dynamic functions in the oro-facial region1 In simple terms, opening the jaw more than 10 degrees will result in a backward reflex movement (styloglossus-primary retracting muscle) of the tongue, while clenching however, will activate afferents from the TMJ and the masseter and temporalis mucles through the hypoglossal nerve and through a reflex action of the genioglossus (primary protruding muscle) result in a contraction and a forward movement of the tongue2.

Fig. 1 this patient is biting on a bite block on the upper right second bicuspid and upper right first molar. The patient has moved his tongue forward between his teeth.

When the above patient brings his lips together with his tongue in the above position and activates the genioglossal refex by clenching, a combination of a suction seal between the lips, tongue and the roof of the mouth, the reflex that brings the tongue forward, makes it very difficult to physically retract the tongue, hence the Homeoblock™ as a tongue retaining device. Try this! Close your mouth and bring your tongue up against your palate and the back of your front teeth. Now clench your teeth and try to move your tongue back away from your front teeth. You will find quite a bit of resistance. This is the reflex action at work.

The tongue is now in an upward and forward position opening the superior oropharyngeal airway space which allows for better breathing. Have your patienttry this and they will be very impressed. Furthermore, when the patient clenches and activates the forward tongue reflex and contracts the genioglossus we are providing the exercise necessary for toning the posterior tongue and permanently opening the airway space.


Fig.2 is a registration of a before and after scans of a treated patient which shows slight mandibular repositioning and the toning of the posterior tongue (genioglossus) and improvement at the base of the tongue all in red.

Once this forward tongue position is established the patient should be instructed to breathe in slowly to a count of eight and hold their breath for a count of one and then breathe out. This is a method to increase oxygen saturation and improve general well being for the patient. When the tongue space is compromised by underdeveloped jaws the patient can be trained to bring his or her tongue forward to the position shown and over time will find the position even while sleeping since the tongue is happy to be up and out of the mouth. (I know this is true since I have done it for myself).

Before After

Before After
These airway changes were accomplished with the Homeoblock™ protocol.


1-Lowe, 1980; Gordon and Herring, 1987; Sahara et al., 1988; Dinardo and Travers, 1994) found at:

2-Jaw-Tongue Reflex: Afferents, Central Pathways, and Synaptic Potentials in Hypoglossal J DENT RES 2000 79: 1626

Y. Ishiwata, T. Ono, T. Kuroda and Y. Nakamura
Motoneurons in the Cat


Right side underdevelopment

Right side maxilla underdeveloped

Right nasal valve stenosis

Right pharyngeal arway compromised

Right superior joint space compromised

Right epiglottis compromised

This patient will show improved breathing with Homeoblock™ treatment.

Homeoblock treatment harnesses the body’s natural ability for self correction. The Homeoblock™ has the ability to improve symmetry through epigenetics. The result is better sleep, less snoring, more oxygen and more well being.