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What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy seeks to correct any functional issues involving the tounge breathing and the lips by teaching repetitive exercises. The neuromuscular therapy technique employs facial and tongue exercises alongside behavior modification methods to promote proper function. Myofunctional therapy also seeks to create an optimum resting posture for patients. The ideal oral resting posture is teeth together and lips together with the tongue resting against the top of the mouth. This posture should not only be comfortable, but encourage continuing orofacial harmony.

In children, myofunctional therapy helps to create lasting healthy habits and put them on the right trajectory for facial growth. Adults can benefit from TMD relief, head and neck pain relief, and the alleviation of many other issues, as myofunctional therapy often targets the root of the issue.

Treatment for OMDs has been shown to be up to 80-90% effective in correcting swallowing and rest posture positions. Significant improvement is usually seen when the exercises are completed daily.

You can expect myofunctional therapy to eliminate mouth breathing, thumb sucking and other habits detrimental to facial function, bad oral posture and irregular swallowing patterns.

Myofunctional Therapy Exercises

Myofunctional therapy involves a targeted program of exercises to aid in restoring strength and coordination in the muscles of the face and tongue. These are painless and relatively simple, so they can easily be continued at home. A course of myofunctional therapy typically lasts for a minimum of 6 months, so both practitioner and patient have more chance to see positive results.

Myofunctional therapist

Sherry Posner

At Elite Dental we have a full time Myofunctional Therapist and Orofacial Myologist, Sherry Posner.  As a myofunctional therapist, Sherry helps to treat people who have Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs).  

The goal as an Myofunctional Therapist is to provide and work alongside your dentist or orthodontist for a specialised treatment plan for you to achieve the best oral function and balance.

For any questions regarding how Sherry, Elite Dentals Myofunctional Therapist, can help you please don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here!

Myofunctional Therapy Staten Island

Book a consultation today with the friendly team at Elite Dental of Staten Island if you think Myofunctional therapy could be the treatment for you.

Myofunctional Therapy FAQs

Myofunctional therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on correcting the function and position of
the muscles of the face, mouth, and throat. It is a non-invasive, exercise-based treatment that
aims to retrain the muscles to function properly and improve the overall health and well-being of
the patient.
Myofunctional therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including tongue thrust,
mouth breathing, speech disorders, and sleep apnea. It can also help correct malocclusion
(improper alignment of the teeth and jaws), which can lead to problems with chewing,
swallowing, and speaking.
The therapy typically involves a series of exercises that are designed to improve muscle
strength, coordination, and control. These exercises may include tongue exercises, lip
exercises, swallowing exercises, and breathing exercises. The therapy may also involve the use
of devices such as oral appliances or tongue depressors to help retrain the muscles.
The therapy is often combined with other treatments such as orthodontics, dental work, or
surgery, depending on the individual patient's needs.

Orofacial myofunctional disorders are often caused as the result of prolonged oral habits like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, nail biting, teeth grinding, and incorrect lip posture. Some other causes and symptoms include a restricted airway, sleep disorders, tongue tie, developmental abnormalities, and jaw pain.

During myofunctional therapy, the oral and facial muscles are retrained through targeted exercises. The therapy also seeks to create the ideal resting posture for patients, which occurs when the teeth and lips rest together, with the tongue positioned against the roof of the mouth, proper swallow and chewing, and nasal breathing. The idea behind myofunctional therapy is to create lasting healthy oral habits in children, proper function,  and  proper facial growth. In adults, the therapy can be used to help relieve jaw, head, and neck pain.

Myofunctional therapy can benefit a wide range of individuals, including children and adults who
may have orofacial myofunctional disorders. Some of the conditions that may be treated with
myofunctional therapy include:

  • Tongue thrust: A condition where the tongue pushes forward against the teeth during
    swallowing or speech.
  • Mouth breathing: Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, which can lead to a
    range of health issues.
  • Speech disorders: Difficulties with articulation, pronunciation, or speech patterns.
  • Sleep apnea: A condition where breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: A condition that causes pain in the jaw joint
    and surrounding muscles.
  • Malocclusion: Improper alignment of the teeth and jaws, which can cause difficulties with
    chewing, swallowing, and speaking. 

Myofunctional therapy may also be recommended as a complementary treatment for individuals
who are undergoing orthodontic treatment or other dental procedures. In general, anyone who
has an orofacial myofunctional disorder or a related condition may benefit from myofunctional
therapy. A trained therapist can assess an individual's specific needs and recommend an
appropriate treatment plan.

The length of time it takes to see results from myofunctional therapy can vary depending on the
individual, the severity of their condition, and the frequency and consistency of their therapy
In general, it can take several weeks or months of regular therapy sessions to see noticeable
improvements in muscle function and behavior. However, some individuals may begin to see
improvements sooner than others, depending on their particular condition and individual factors.
It is important to note that myofunctional therapy is a process that requires ongoing practice and
commitment to achieve lasting results. Patients are typically given exercises and instructions to
practice at home between therapy sessions, and it is important to consistently follow through
with these exercises to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Additionally, the length of time it takes to see results can also be influenced by other factors,
such as the patient's age, overall health, and the presence of any other underlying medical
conditions. A trained therapist can provide more specific information on what to expect in terms
of results and the duration of therapy based on an individual's unique situation.

Myofunctional therapy at Elite Dental NYC offers a promising avenue for enhancing oral and
facial muscle coordination, addressing concerns like improper swallowing, tongue thrust,
speech issues, and breathing challenges. By fostering proper muscle patterns, individuals may
experience improved oral health, clearer speech, and enhanced breathing habits. Consulting
skilled professionals in the field empowers individuals to embark on a journey towards better
well-being and a more confident, functional life.

The core objectives of myofunctional therapy encompass rectifying improper muscle patterns
within the oral and facial regions, aiming to enhance functions such as swallowing, speech, and
breathing. By establishing correct tongue posture, improving swallowing patterns, and
promoting optimal oral rest posture, myofunctional therapy seeks to contribute to improved oral
health, better facial structure development, and enhanced speech articulation. Additionally, the
therapy may complement orthodontic treatment, address sleep apnea and snoring concerns,
and ultimately foster lasting positive changes in muscle function, promoting an improved quality
of life and overall well-being for individuals. Elite Dental offers specialized myofunctional
treatment in NYC.

Myofunctional therapy targets the correction of improper muscle patterns in the oral and facial
areas, addressing issues like swallowing patterns, tongue posture, and breathing habits. It aims
to enhance oral health, facial structure, and related functions. In contrast, speech therapy is
dedicated to improving speech sounds, language development, fluency, and communication
skills by working to address speech and communication disorders. While both therapies have
distinct focuses, they contribute to the overall oral and communication well-being of individuals
with specific needs.

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