What Is Myofunctional Therapy?
In the video above Education Coordinator, Alyssamay, gives an introduction to Myofunctional Therapy.
In a nutshell – Myofunctional Therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on your orofacial muscles to make sure everything is working together.
A patient may be a candidate for therapy if they suffer from Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) which are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly; breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, and facial esthetics (source: AOMT).
Why Would Someone Need Myofunctional Therapy?
The goal of Oral Myofunctional Therapy is to treat Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) with myofunctional therapy exercises. Some OMD symptoms that you may notice are mouth breathing, having an open bite where the teeth don’t close, blocked nasal passages that results in problems with breathing or even snoring and sleep apnea. OMDs can also impact breast feeding, skeletal growth, eating (especially those that are picky eaters that only want easy to chew foods) and speech. In most instances, Myofunctional Therapy is a piece of the puzzle in the journey to help prepare you for other treatments like a Functional Lingual Frenuloplasty.
Myofunctional Therapy Benefits
If you or someone you know is mouth breathing then Myofunctional Therapy can help them properly nasal breathe. Mouth breathing can have a negative impact on your overall health since nasal breathing is responsible for warming, filtering and humidifying the air. In children this can be even more detrimental since this affects skeletal growth that can affect the appearance of their face, teeth and overall posture. Myofunctional therapy helps both children and adults develop the proper habits to facilitate nasal breathing.
Where is your tongue resting right now? If your tongue is not resting comfortably on the roof of your mouth then myofunctional therapy is for you. Your tongue is powerful and does a lot! Just swallowing 500 to 1000 times per day can have a negative impact on your teeth if your tongue is suffering from an OMD. Small repeated pressure on the back of your teeth when you swallow can move your teeth forward and create an open bite which is also called tongue thrust. A properly Myofunctionally Trained tongue also may not need an ortho retainer because one of the main reasons people may need braces is due to an OMD. At Inspire Dental Wellness we work to correct OMDs by doing Myofunctional Therapy as well as Ortho when needed to create the space amongst the top teeth to make room for the tongue and also expand the floor of the nasal cavity to improve nasal breathing.
Having difficulty articulating sounds or speaking with a lisp may be a sign of an OMD. Myofunctional Therapy and possibly a Functional Frenuloplasty may be a treatment option to improve these symptoms.
Myofunctional Therapy may help with sleep apnea and snoring. When the tongue is properly trained it may reduce obstruction to the airway which in turn reduces snoring and sleep apnea events.
Our Myofunctional Team
At Inspire Dental Wellness we are proud to be an Affiliate of The Breathe Institute! We have gone through rigorous training, including months of mentoring for the entire Team, Continuing Education for the entire Team, and ultimately a proctoring of Functional Lingual Frenuloplasties by Dr. Zaghi to ensure the best surgical outcomes for our patients.
We are also a part of the latest research regarding Tongue-tie (Functional Ankyloglossia) and Myofunctional Therapy and will be continuing to gather data to contribute to the furthering of this field. You won’t find another office like us anywhere in Chicago – or even Illinois – so you can rest assured that you are in the best care in our clinic.