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) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth that prevent proper development and action. 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 prolonged oral habits, like thumb or finger sucking. They generally develop early in life, but early treatment can stop them developing into more serious problems.
Symptoms and causes of orofacial myofunctional disorders include:
- Tongue thrust
- Jaw pain
- Incorrect lip posture
- Thumb sucking
- Mouth breathing
- Sleep disorders
- Cross bite
- Developmental abnormalities
- Tongue tied
- Chewing problems
- Swallowing problems
- Speech disorder
- Nail biting
- Teeth grinding
- Short upper lip
- Open mouth posture
- Restricted airway
- Improper oral habits
What is Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional therapy seeks to solve OMDs by re-training the oral and facial muscles through targeted 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.