Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional Therapy introduces exercises…

related to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing, help to address a wide range of health problems and conditions including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
  • Sleep disturbed breathing
  • Tongue-tie
  • TMJ pain
  • Orthodontic and surgical relapse
  • Craniofacial growth and appearance concerns
  • Headaches and other facial and neck pain and tension
  • Postural issues
  • Mouth Breathing
What Are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?
The Four Goals of Myofunctional Therapy are:
  1. Nasal breathing
  2. Lip seal
  3. Proper tongue posture
  4. Correct swallowing pattern
The muscles of the face and mouth are designed to work together in a collaborative effort.

By recognizing an orofacial myofunctional disorder early, you can help a child or adult overcome problems that could lead to more severe issues in the future.

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Not just for kids…

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is also appropriate for adults. In many instances, a myofunctional disorder develops in response to late jaw growth, worsening of a malocclusion over time, or other reasons such as tooth loss. Therapy for adult patients is typically efficient. Adults of all ages are capable of achieving success in treatment.

Myofunctional therapy is a recognized and effective alternative treatment for sleep apnea. It is non-invasive, inexpensive, and has no major risks. In many cases people who have weak and improperly functioning oral muscles also have sleep apnea. If you can strengthen those muscles you can also ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.

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How does a typical exam work?

This is a list of all the things I look at during a myofunctional therapy examination:

  • Tonsils and adenoids
  • Mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing
  • Where the tongue rests in the mouth
  • Tongue-tie
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Speech and articulation
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction
  • Head, neck, and facial pain
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Facial structure
  • Habits such as thumb and finger sucking

I teach my patients exercises that relate to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing.

As we accomplish the four main goals of myofunctional therapy, troublesome symptoms disappear and the big picture problems around braces, speech, jaw pain and sleep apnea become much easier to treat.

For success using this therapy, consistent exercise every day is necessary until the patient has fixed their improper muscle pattern.

It takes a commitment by the patient, family ~ and some time. Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary depending on individual needs.

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