“What is Myofunctional Therapy?”
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 the good news is, early treatment can stop them developing into more serious problems.
Myofunctional Therapy for Children: helps to create lasting healthy habits, correct bad oral habits and aids in proper facial growth and tooth position.
Myofunctional Therapy for Adults: TMD relief, head and neck pain relief, and the alleviation of many other issues, as myofunctional therapy often targets the root of the issue.
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.
“What will Myofunctional Therapy do for me or my child?”
Myofunctional Therapy involves a targeted program of exercises to aid in restoring strength and coordination in the muscles of the face and tongue. The exercises help to train or re-train the facial muscles. These are painless and relatively simple, so they can easily be continued and practiced at home. Myofunctional therapy also seeks to create an optimum resting posture for patients. The ideal oral resting posture is “teeth together, lips together with the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth”. The length of treatment is based on each patient’s specific needs and the compliance of the patient in terms of appointment attendance and practicing the exercises at home.
“How Do I know if I need Myofunctional Therapy?”
If you have one or more of these symptoms or habits, call us @ 978-922-4200 for a consultation:
- Tongue thrust
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Incorrect lip posture
- Bell’s Palsy
- 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
The pictures below are before and after Myofunctional Therapy. Each set of pictures is the patient’s natural resting posture, before and after Myofunctional Therapy, respectively. While it can be said that (in one example) the patient simply opened their mouth in one picture and closed it in the other, the purpose of these photos is to show that, before Myofunctional Therapy that patient’s resting posture was to have their mouth open. Now that their function has been corrected, they naturally have the ideal resting posture with closed lips.
Photo credit: Sandra Coulson and Associates