Myofunctional Therapy

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Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based treatment system. Think about it like physical therapy, only for the muscles of the mouth, tongue and face, and you’ve got the idea.

These exercises relate to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing, and they 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

The four goals of Myofunctional Therapy are:

  1. Nasal Breathing

  2. Lip Seal

  3. Proper Tongue posture

  4. Correct swallowing pattern

Have you been wondering how hard can it be to breathe through your nose, close your mouth, and put your tongue in the right place? And who really has trouble swallowing anyway?

It may sound simple but as many of our patients would agree, it’s actually much harder than it sounds.

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?

You can expect your myofunctional therapy to be performed by a health care professional who has completed advanced training in OMDs and their treatment. Sometimes, dental professionals undergo this training to easily recognize OMDs while completing regular oral exams and provide treatment protocols.

Your myofunctional therapist will create an individualized program to retrain your orofacial muscles and improve function. Some goals of your training might include normalizing the resting posture for your tongue and lips, establishing nasal breathing patterns, or eliminating harmful habits like thumb-sucking.

As you retrain these patterns, your myofunctional therapist will help you increase awareness of your mouth and facial muscles. The therapist will most likely give you exercises to complete at home to focus on ideal swallowing, breathing, and resting patterns. Practicing these positions and movements will increase your muscle strength and coordination.

Eventually, myofunctional therapy should improve your OMD symptoms — from speaking more clearly to eating more efficiently and sleeping more soundly. You might also enjoy some cosmetic changes in your face and smile. With a diagnosis from your dental professional and help from a myofunctional therapist, you can treat your orofacial myofunctional disorder, correct your mouth's alignment, and get your smile back on track.

On-Going Myofunctional Case Study