Myofunctional Therapy

Ortho is not a one and done. It’s all about the lips and tongue!

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There are four goals of Myofunctional Therapy

“Oromyofunctional Disorders include any disorder of the muscles and function of the mouth and face.”

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Correct Tongue Posture

Tongue Posture Breathe Modern Dentistry Dentist in Broken Arrow, OK

Nasal Breathing

Tongue Posture Breathe Modern Dentistry Dentist in Broken Arrow, OK

Correct Mouth Posture

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Swallowing is Correct and Normalized

Can be from a tongue-tie, weak muscles, poor habits, or all three.  The tongue should be resting upon the palate.  If there is a tongue tie (tongue anchored down to the floor of the mouth too tight and not able to reach the palate where it naturally stimulates the maxilla development) a release is needed first because it limits the tongue function.  When the tongue doesn’t get to do its job, it can lead to a high, narrow palate, insufficient forward growth of the facial skeleton, crowding, recessed mandible, and decreased airway space.  

Mouth breathing is learned and unhealthy and usually the correct tongue and mouth posture “rules” are broken. Causes constant O2 deprivation, which causes a patient to tire easily, feel breathless, have poor taste, breath, and dry mouth. As well as many facial changes. Such as flatter nose, short upper lip, recessed chin, forward head posture, droopy eyes and mouth, and dark eye circles.

(tongue thrust) Orofacial muscular imbalance, a pattern in which the tongue pushes forward to the front teeth during swallowing, speech, and while the tongue is at rest.  The tip of your tongue should rest gently behind your top front teeth.  An incorrect swallow pattern also leads to crooked teeth and orthodontic relapse.

When a person does not chew adequately, cannot chew well, or avoids harder to chew foods, craniofacial growth is affected whether this is because of a tongue-tie or other impairment, poor chewing can affect the growth of the facial bones.

Individuals with a myofunctional therapy concern may suffer from any of the following:

  • Mouth Breathing
  • Chronic Headaches
  • Ortho Relapse
  • Grinding
  • Chronic Tension
  • Swallowing Difficulty
  • Snoring
  • Digestive Issues
  • Jaw Pain
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Toxic Oral Habits
  • Tongue-Tie
  • Tongue Thrust
  • Speech Problems
  • Poor Posture

How we treat the problem

All oromyofunctional disorders are treated through a physical therapy process for the tongue and all orofacial muscles involved in swallowing and breathing.

What to expect from successful therapy?

Myofunctional therapy helps create new habits and new neuromuscular connections.  Our goal is to retrain and eliminate anything that is preventing the 4 goals from being accomplished (ie myofunctional impairments)

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What to do next:

1. Call and schedule an examination
2. Receive your therapy pack
3. Begin training

Patient Exams just got easier.

We know times are changing and it makes it difficult to get back to normal. That’s why we are not offering virtual consults!

Frequently Asked Questions about Myofunctional

What is myofunctional therapy?

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is a specific program of static and dynamic strength and pattern retraining exercises of the tongue and orofacial muscles intended to correct maladaptive oral habits and help restore correct oral resting posture.  The muscles of the face, mouth, and neck all form an intricate network and are designed to function in a certain way.  However, the body is a rockstar at adapting when there is a problem, resulting in dysfunction of these muscle groups.  The adaptation can result in long term issues and painful symptoms over a lifetime. Myofunctional therapy helps teach the patient how to properly use the muscles, gain new habits, and retrain new patterns. We will focus on strengthening the muscles of the mouth, face, and throat. 

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Disorders of the muscles and function of the face and mouth.  These disorders may affect breastfeeding, chewing, speech, swallowing, jaw movement, facial and skeletal growth, malocclusion, orthodontic treatment facial appearance and oral hygiene, and many other things. Anyone who has a problem with one or more of the goals of myofunctional therapy has an OMD.

What are the goals for myofunctional therapy?

We will work on normalizing tongue posture, mouth posture, swallowing mechanics, and accomplishing nasal breathing.

Who is myofunctional therapy for?
MFT is for all ages.  It is important to address MF impairments sooner rather than later because of the window of time regarding a child’s craniofacial development.  The facial development of a child is mostly complete by age 10-12, so waiting can mean possible permanent consequences.  Adults can accomplish great success with therapy at any age, but the sooner the better. 
What are the benefits of MFT?

MFT is an affordable, low-risk option to dramatically improve whole health, breathing, chewing, swallowing, digestion, sleep and motivation. MFT may improve symptoms of people who experience:
• Choking
• Digestive issues
• Anxiety
• Mouth breathing
• Snoring or sleep apnea
• Chronic fatigue
• Chronic pain
• Toxic oral habits
• TMJ pain
• Headaches
• Posture concerns

Is MFT just tongue exercises?

NO. MFT works to build muscle strength in the tongue and orofacial muscles while developing coordination and creating new neuromuscular connections.

How does all of this affect the craniofacial development?

When a person understands how all of this connects together, it becomes much easier to understand how craniofacial development can be affected by an OMD.

How do I know if I need MFT?
The information listed above gives many clues about whether or not a person has issues. If anyone of the goals of MFT cannot be accomplished, MFT would be beneficial. The sooner that this therapy is completed, the sooner the dysfunction can be addressed and corrected.