Oropharyngeal Exercise for OSA Patients

  • Kyung-A Kim
  • Su-Jung KimEmail author


Upper airway is a soft tissue structure surrounded by oropharyngeal muscles, and the muscles is one of the genesis in OSA. As the primary treatment option in pediatric OSA or adjunctive treatment options, oropharyngeal exercises (OPE) targeting the upper airway associated muscles have been applied. OPE as a type of orofacial myofunctional therapy (MFT) is the treatment modality for OSA children and adults to train muscles related to the upper airways in order to improve nasal breathing, swallowing, sucking, chewing, and speech functions. Although limited number and heterogeneity of studies, most studies demonstrated that OPE improves the OSA severity and subjective OSA symptoms in mild-to-moderate OSA adult patients, children and adults patients with primary snoring, and children with residual apnea after surgical treatment. OPE alone or combined different treatment modalities with OPE are applied but combined treatment has proven to be more effective than either treatment used on its own.

This chapter will discuss and summarize the mechanisms of OPE, OPE effects on OSA patients, and the targeted exercises program.


Myofunctional therapy Oropharyngeal exercise Supra-hyoid muscles Lateral pharyngeal walls Facial muscles 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthodonticsKyung Hee University School of DentistrySeoulSouth Korea

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