OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of speech therapy on asthma and allergic rhinitis control in mouth breathing children and adolescents. METHODS: This was a quasi-experimental randomized study of 24 mouth breathing patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis, aged from 6 to 15 years. All patients were taking beclomethasone diproprionate through oral inhalation at the start of the study. At enrollment on the study, oral inhalation was substituted with exclusively nasal inhalation and 1 month later half of the patients began speech therapy. They attended 16 speech therapy sessions in 8 weeks and continued taking beclomethasone dipropionate through exclusively nasal inhalation (BDT group). The comparison group received only beclomethasone diproprionate through exclusively nasal inhalation (BDI group). Both groups were assessed five times. Clinical scores were calculated for allergic rhinitis and asthma, an adapted version of the Marchesan orofacial myofunctional assessment protocol was applied, and parents/guardians' observations were recorded, in addition to spirometry measurements of peak inspiratory and peak expiratory flow. RESULTS: There were significant improvements in the BDT group: clinical asthma score at T5 (p = 0.046); peak inspiratory flow at T4 (p = 0.030); peak expiratory flow at T3 (p = 0.008); breathing mode and lip position (p = 0.000) from T3 onwards; and parents/guardians' observations at T2, T4, and T5 (p = 0.010; p = 0.027; p = 0.030). CONCLUSIONS: Speech therapy in combination with beclomethasone diproprionate through exclusively nasal inhalation resulted in earlier and longer-lasting clinical and functional control of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and mouth breathing than was achieved in the group that only took beclomethasone diproprionate.
Myofunctional therapy; asthma; allergic rhinitis; mouth breathing