Myofunctional Therapy
& Buteyko Breathing

Julia Winter works hard to provide her patients with information and resources to help them make informed decisions about their treatment options

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, Airway function, sleep quality, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, orthodontic treatment, and more.

Some examples of OMD’s are…

  • Tongue thrust
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb or digit sucking
  • Shirt and nail biting
  • Reverse swallow
  • Tongue tie

Many OMDs begin with oral versus nasal breathing. The mouth opens, the tongue drops low in the mouth, and the orofacial muscles weaken due to less use. This leads to structural changes of the bone over time, creating a narrowing of the roof structure of the mouth and dental arches, crowded teeth, difficulty chewing/swallowing, and sleep disordered breathing.

You have probably heard of some of the Sleep breathing disorders (SBD’S), such as Snoring & Sleep apnea. Like most conditions and diseases there are varying degrees of severity. It is important to note that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea! However, the most obvious sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is snoring.

Nasal vs Mouth Breathing

Some benefits of Nasal breathing; Our body functions optimally when everything is in balance. Just as overeating can lead to obesity, over breathing can lead to too hyperventilation, not in the sense that you pass out but in the definition of the over exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. During respiration Oxygen is inhaled and Carbon dioxide is exhaled from our body but we need a certain amount of each to keep our body systems in balance.Carbon Dioxide(Co2) plays an important role in internal respiration inside the human body. The Co2 helps to deliver the oxygen in our blood to our muscles.

Orofacial Myofunctional therapy (OMT) is the retraining of the muscles of the face and mouth to eliminate behaviors and habits that are causing structural and functional issues. Myofunctional Therapists work collaboratively with other specialists such as Dentists, Orthodontists, Pediatricians, ENT’s, Physical Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists and others.

Why do I need Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

I like to use the example of poor posture of the human body. Sometimes poor posture is caused by improper or lack of use of our musculature, whether it be during use or at rest. Over time, due to lack of use, the under used muscles weaken or become flaccid. The muscles that are dominantly engaged will start to overcompensate for the weaker ones. Eventually this can result in physical deformity (slouched appearance), pain in joints(hips and knees) or pain in the overworked muscles(muscle spasms). A similar scenario can occur in the muscles of the face and mouth resulting in an OMD.


Julia A. Winter RDH, COM®, BBE

After attending Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, I graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Working as a hygienist in Oklahoma City while serving as VP and President of the Oklahoma Dental Hygiene Society, I then left for dental practices in Zurich Switzerland for the next two years before settling on the WestSide of LosAngles where I have been employed for the past two decades in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.

For the past 8 years I have been seeing patients and expanding my studies in Myofunctional Therapy to include snoring and sleep apnea as a team with dental and medical sleep experts.

Making a difference in People’s lives

I enjoy seeing patients in our practice for dental hygiene recall as well as advanced periodontal therapy. I am especially proud of my patients who maintain their oral health with good old fashioned home care.

Additionally, I’m Certified in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and Buteyko Breathing Method which enables me to assist patients in elimination of noxious habits that lead to malocclusion, chewing, swallowing, breathing and sleeping disorders. I am a Paul Harris Fellow awarded by Rotary International in 2011.


  • Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences, Founding Member (2015)

  • The Breathe Institute, Airway Advocate (2020)

  • California Dental Hygienist Association, Licensed (1973-present)

Julia is a good therapist. She explains how she works and why she works that way. I felt safe and comfortable with Julia. She helped me figure out what my therapy goals were and helped me to achieve them
Isabella Christine, Myofunctional Therapy patient