Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is a series of exercises…

teaching proper tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing, swallowing and help to address a wide range of the health problems including:

  • Sleep disordered breathing including obstructive sleep apnea and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
  • Tongue-tie and tongue thrust
  • TMJ, Facial and neck pain
  • Orthodontic and surgical relapse
  • Craniofacial growth and development
  • Headaches
  • Postural issues
What Are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?
The Four Goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy are:
  1. Nasal breathing
  2. Lip seal
  3. Proper tongue posture
  4. Correct swallowing pattern
The muscles of the face and mouth are designed to work together in a collaborative effort.

By recognizing an orofacial myofunctional dysfunction early, you can help a child or adult overcome the hurdles that prevent them from using their mouths properly.

Not just for kids…

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is also appropriate for adults. In many instances, a myofunctional dysfunction develops in response to late jaw growth, worsening of a malocclusion over time, or other reasons such as tooth loss. Therapy for adult patients is typically efficient. Adults of all ages are capable of achieving success in treatment.

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How does a typical exam work?

This is a list of all the things I look at during a myofunctional therapy examination:

  • Tonsils and adenoids
  • Mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing
  • Where the tongue rests in the mouth
  • Tongue-tie
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Speech as it relates to tongue tie
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction
  • Head, neck, and facial pain
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Facial structure and growth
  • Compensations
  • Habits such as thumb and finger sucking

I teach patients exercises that relate to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing.

I want the tongue to rest completely in the roof of the mouth and the lips to stay closed. When these two simple things happen, troublesome symptoms disappear and the big picture problems around braces, speech, jaw pain and sleep apnea become much easier to address.

For success using this therapy, consistent daily exercises are necessary until the patient has eliminated improper muscle pattern.

Therapy takes a commitment by the patient, family and some time. Treatment usually consists of a foundational program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary depending on individual needs.