What is Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional therapy, also called orofacial myology or orofacial myofunctional therapy, is a non-invasive, holistic approach to treating maladaptive oral habits. It uses static and dynamic strength exercises to retrain the tongue and orofacial muscles.
It can help people of all ages develop positive lifelong habits and see improvement in breathing, chewing, swallowing, digestion, facial esthetics, sleep quality, mood and more.
Myofunctional therapy is often recommended in combination with orthodontic treatment, including clear aligner therapy. Addressing the root causes of malocclusion, such as incorrect tongue posture, can help advance treatment and prevent orthodontic relapse.
Who is Myofunctional Therapy for?
You could benefit from Myofunctional Therapy if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Mouth breathing
- Crowded teeth
- Clenching or grinding
- TMJ pain
- Digestive issues
Four Goals of Myofunctional Therapy
- Correct nasal breathing
- Correct tongue posture
- Correct mouth posture
- Correct swallowing mechanics
Are you tired of suffering from poor quality sleep, chronic stress or jaw pain? Contact us today to learn how Myofunctional Therapy can help you!
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) are caused by dysfunction of the muscles of the face and mouth. They can affect breastfeeding, chewing, swallowing, speech, skeletal growth, malocclusion, orthodontic treatment and more. The goal of therapy is to address the foundational causes of maladaptive oral habits rather than just treat the symptoms.
If left untreated, myofunctional disorders can have a “domino effect” on oral health and craniofacial development, affecting everything from airway function to facial structure.
Myofunctional Disorders in Children
Myofunctional difficulties typically start in early childhood. It is best to address myofunctional impairments sooner rather than later in children because the facial development of a child is mostly complete by age 10-12.
Correct Tongue Posture
An important goal of Myofunctional Therapy is achieving correct tongue posture. The tongue should rest “tip to tail” along the roof of the mouth. This position is crucial because it stabilizes the jaw and naturally expands the palate (roof of the mouth) so there is adequate space for the airway and tooth growth.
Low tongue rest posture may be caused by tongue-tie, weak muscles or simply habit. This can contribute to abnormal facial proportions, breathing difficulties and jaw pain. Myofunctional Therapy can improve these symptoms by strengthening the tongue and making sure it’s up where it’s supposed to be.