Myofunctional Therapy

There should be a harmonious relationship between the muscles of the face, mouth and throat. When working together, these muscles allow you to breathe, chew, swallow, speak and move easily and painlessly. Myofunctional therapy seeks to correct any functional issues in the face through repetitive facial exercises.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) involve improper use of the tounge, facial muscles and nasal breathing. Evident as any abnormal lip, jaw, cheek or tongue position during rest, swallowing or speech, OMDs can affect anything from breathing to eating and speaking.  OMDs are often the result of long term learned habits, like thumb or finger sucking. They generally develop early in life, but early treatment can stop them from developing into more serious problems.

Signs and Symptoms that can be indicative of orofacial myofunctional disorders include:

  • Open mouth posture
  • Restricted airway
  • Improper oral habits
  • Tongue thrust
  • Jaw pain
  • Incorrect lip posture
  • Thumb sucking
  • Drooling
  • Mouth breathing
  • TMJ/TMD
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cross bite
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Tongue tied
  • Chewing problems
  • Swallowing problems
  • Speech disorder
  • Nail biting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Short upper lip

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 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.

FAQs

Myofunctional therapy, which involves education and training in proper function of lips, tongue and facial muscles. . Myofunctional therapy may be used to treat a number of orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs), which affect the muscles and functions of the face and mouth and prevent proper development of ace and jaws. OMDs can affect one’s ability to eat, breathe and speak properly.  This is best addressed early in development, but can be addressed in childhood and as adults.

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.

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In honor of Children's Dental Health Month, we're hosting an exciting event about myofunctional therapy, and how your child's breathing could affect their health for the rest of their life. This event will take place at our office on Monday February 26 from 4.30pm
Thanks to environmental changes, children are now being born, and growing up to adulthood with malformed airways and jaws.
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Thanks to environmental changes, children are now being born, and growing up to adulthood with malformed airways and jaws.
Elite dental
Get more information about myofunctional therapy
for your child
Learn how you can help your child!
Check your inbox for an email from us!