What is Myofunctional therapy?

Many people are unaware that the positioning of their tongue can impact mouth functions such as chewing, swallowing, and even their appearance and speech. Fortunately, myofunctional therapy can address these issues. This therapy involves training to improve oral health and function, as well as overall health. Orofacial myofunctional therapy offers numerous benefits for both children and adults.
myofuntional therapy
Myofunctional therapy is a blend of various exercises aimed at improving orofacial myofunctional disorders. These disorders affect the positioning of the tongue, leading to incorrect functioning of facial muscles, which can impair speaking, swallowing, chewing, and breathing. The therapy combines exercises that target the tongue, mouth, neck, and tissues to achieve appropriate tongue positioning and oral rest posture. Orofacial myofunctional disorders can affect individuals of any age.

What Are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Myofunctional disorders occur when the tongue or lip interferes with orofacial structures, functions, and development. A common cause of these disorders is tongue and lip ties, which occur when the tissue or frenum under the tongue or upper lip is too short, limiting the movement of the tongue and lips. Lip ties can cause a thin or short upper lip and lead to an open mouth posture when the lips are at rest, resulting in mouth breathing.
In addition, OMDs can impact chewing, swallowing, and speech functions. Tongue ties can cause breastfeeding difficulties for infants, as they may have trouble latching. Furthermore, orofacial disorders can alter our facial appearance and posture.
The most common symptom of OMDs is upper airway obstruction, which disrupts nasal breathing. As a result, the body compensates by breathing through the mouth, altering the natural growth and position of the jaw, lips, tongue, and facial structure. Upper airway obstruction can also exert pressure on teeth due to irregular swallowing and tongue positioning, leading to a tongue thrust and forcing the teeth into an improper position.

Some Common Symptoms Of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders Are:

If you or your child are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is possible that you have orofacial myofunctional disorders. Fortunately, these disorders can be treated through myofunctional therapy, which can help restore proper oral function and improve oral wellness.

Effects of Myofunctional Disorders Oral Health

Improper tongue and facial posture can disrupt tongue function and the flow of saliva, which plays a vital role in fighting against plaque and bacteria. Acid reflux and mouth breathing are also common with OMDs. As a result, individuals diagnosed with OMDs have a higher risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Blocked nasal passages caused by allergies or enlarged tonsils are common causes of orofacial myofunctional disorders. Nasal blockage forces people to breathe through their mouths, leading to misplaced tongue positioning and difficulty in keeping the lips closed at rest.

Effectiveness of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is performed by a myofunctional therapist who has received training in OMDs and corrective treatments for these disorders. The goals of training vary depending on your specific needs and include correcting tongue posture, promoting proper swallowing habits, establishing a resting or closed lip position, and developing appropriate breathing patterns. Eliminating unnecessary habits such as thumb-sucking and nail-biting can also prove to be effective in the treatment of OMDs.
Your OMD therapist will recommend a treatment plan that includes exercises for the tongue, lips, and mouth, as well as breathing, swallowing, and resting patterns. Practicing these exercises improves muscle coordination and helps to eliminate improper oral habits and functions.

Exercises play a crucial role in correcting OMDs and can significantly improve obstructive sleep apnea. Both children and adults can perform these exercises to eliminate OMD disorders and achieve the desired results.

Myofunctional Therapy

Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves several therapeutic exercises that can be performed in a matter of minutes. People can execute these exercises while doing their daily routine tasks. These exercises help people of any age to correct their orofacial disorders and show results within a few months, but consistency in performing them is key. Myofunctional therapy has multiple benefits, including:

1. Quicker Results

Myofunctional therapy eliminates the need for prolonged wear of traditional braces to correct oral problems. In addition, it can facilitate the use of removable orthodontic methods, such as clear aligners, by improving mouth support. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, not only have better aesthetics, but can also be quicker than traditional braces, especially when used in conjunction with myofunctional therapy.

2. Sleep Apnea Relief

Sleep apnea is a prevalent disorder that disrupts the sleeping pattern of millions of people. If left untreated for extended periods, it can lead to various health issues such as heart stroke, high blood pressure, and more. Myofunctional therapy increases the strength of the mouth, tongue, and neck, which can prevent the collapse of throat muscles and keep the airway open during sleep.
Myofunctional therapy can strengthen the muscles of the throat, soft palate, and tongue, thereby reducing the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing and improving mild to moderate orofacial disorders. Additionally, it may prevent the relapse of sleep apnea after surgical treatment.

3. Effective for Everyone

Myofunctional therapy is beneficial for people of all ages, unlike braces, which are more effective for children and teenagers. Our bodies are constantly changing, and the jawbone is one of the most dynamic bones. Myofunctional therapy can correct oral disorders and prevent functional problems in the jaw. This treatment is particularly advantageous for adults, as it allows everything to work properly, regardless of their age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some common symptoms of orofacial myofunctional disorders are breathing difficulties (more breathing through the mouth or difficulty in breathing through the nose), limited tongue movements, problems while eating or chewing, etc. If a person encounters any of these problems, he should seek professional dental help as soon as possible to treat all these issues in the initial stages.
Generally, the number of myofunctional therapy sessions depends on the extent of the orofacial issues of patients. However, on average, the duration ranges between 10 to 14 therapeutic sessions for about 6 to 9 months. After this time period, patients start feeling significant improvements in their orofacial conditions.
Call Now Button