Myofunctional Therapy is an individualized program of exercises that help restore strength and coordination to the muscles of the face and tongue. When we retrain dysfunctional muscles, we optimize functions like breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Often, patients recognize an improvement in teeth alignment, oral hygiene, TMJ pain, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and skeletal growth.
The Four Main Goals of Therapy
Nasal breathing promotes nitric oxide which is essential for our bodies to optimally function. Mouth breathing negatively impacts the development and structure of the mouth and face.
Having proper lip seal will promote proper jaw growth lowering your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, along with prevention of systemic health conditions. Lip seal also helps to promote nasal breathing.
Making sure your tongue is in the correct position, along with palate, is essential in upper jaw and facial development, nasal breathing, and swallowing.
By not swallowing correctly, you absorb more air. This has been linked to digestive issues like stomach pains,
acid reflux, and even constipation.
The Connection Between
Muscle Dysfunction and Symptoms
When facial muscles are dysfunctional, they are not working in harmony. This will influence chronic jaw pain, headaches, facial pain, grinding, or clenching of your teeth.
Poor oral rest posture will increase the likelihood for mouth breathing and will cause a disturbance to the natural mechanics of your entire body causing symptoms like fatigue, chronic nasal congestion, allergies, poor sleep, depression/anxiety and an increased risk for sleep disordered breathing like snoring and sleep apnea.
Dysfunctional muscles will cause improper alignment of teeth and an unstable bite leading to the need for orthodontics. Most patients find they have a relapse years after they completed orthodontics or find they are in orthodontics for a long time. This is because the muscles influence our alignment and how our jaws develop.
Improper swallowing can lead to acid reflux, digestive issues, like constipation, difficulties when biting and chewing and poor speech production. Tongue-ties can also contribute all of the above symptoms.
What to Expect
After your free consultation, we'll schedule a comprehensive exam where we will review your history of the following: (Some may not apply to you)
Medical history from infancy to adulthood
Habits such as thumb, finger sucking, nail biting
Speech & articulation
Eating & swallowing
Sleep patterns & habits
Snoring, sleep disturbance, sleep apnea
Mouth Breathing vs. Nasal Breathing
Jaw pain & dysfunction
Head, neck & facial pain
Facial structure & growth patterns
My Message to Parents:
Growth is not linear…
There is no direct path for treatment needs. The path to successful treatment has twists and turns. It takes time, patience and dedication. This is a new skill your child will learn, just like math & ABCs. These skills will carry them through childhood and influence their health and wellbeing for a lifetime. Remember to celebrate the progress, no matter how big or how small. There is a process and I’m with you every step of the way.