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What is Myofunctional Therapy?

added on: August 26, 2022
My Rivertown Dentist in Madison

As a parent, you want your kids to have excellent oral health. At My Rivertown Dentist, we understand this and offer myofunctional therapy and neuromuscular dentistry to restore your kids’ oral health. Dr. Ashley Lee tailors myofunctional therapy based on your kid’s orofacial disorder. 

Your dentist in Madison, IN, recommends myofunctional therapy if your kid has breathing, talking, or eating issues. This form of treatment is also ideal for individuals with sleep apnea. So, what is myofunctional therapy, and how does it work? 

What is Myofunctional Therapy? 

Myofunctional therapy is a program that targets the neck, mouth, and face to treat wide-ranging orofacial disorders. It entails using neuromuscular re-patterning and exercises to strengthen orofacial muscles. The exercises teach an individual’s brain, muscles, and nerves how to attain optimal movement. 

Neuromuscular exercises enhance tongue position, nasal breathing, and lip seal. Persons with dominant mouth breathing typically develop maladaptive habits that may affect various conditions. The conditions include;

  • Maxillofacial development 
  • Facial esthetics 
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Speech problems
  • Nasal obstruction 
  • Neck tension
  • Dental problems 
  • Temporomandibular joint problems 
  • Teeth grinding

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Treat Sleep-Disordered Breathing?

Sleep-disordered breathing happens when throat tissues relax and block your airway during sleep. Myofunctional therapy enhances muscle function in your upper airway to keep it open. The therapy also helps adjust your tongue’s relaxing position and increases nasal breathing while asleep. 

Myofunctional therapy is a suitable alternative to other treatments for sleep-disordered breathing because it is risk-free, non-invasive, and affordable. It treats multiple conditions, including headaches, nail biting, heartburn, neck pain, and temporomandibular joint aches. 

What Does Our Myofunctional Therapy Entail? 

At My Rivertown Dentist, certified healthcare professionals typically provide myofunctional therapy to patients. When you visit our dental clinic in Madison, IN, Dr. Ashley Lee begins by evaluating your kid. She then creates a tailored therapy plan to train your muscles. 

The custom plan typically comprises wide-ranging exercises aimed at easing your symptoms. Some of the exercises include; 

  • Tongue presses. The exercise entails pressing your tongue onto your mouth’s palate at least 20 times. 
  • Yogurt suction. This exercise involves sucking yogurt using a thin straw. 
  • Tongue touches. The exercise requires you to push your tongue’s tip onto your palate and move it backward at least 20 times. 
  • Balloon inflation. The exercise involves inhaling through the nose and releasing exhaled air into a balloon. 
  • Teeth touches. The exercise requires you repeatedly press your tongue’s rear end onto the upper palate. While doing this, your tongue’s tip should remain gently pressed onto your bottom incisors. 
  • Uvula raises. The exercise requires you to pronounce the letter “A” at least 20 times while elevating your uvula. 
  • Tongue clicking. The exercise requires you to make clicking sounds by quickly pressing the tongue onto your upper palate. Click continuously for at least 15 seconds. 
  • Tongue rolling. This exercise involves rolling the tongue’s edges and sticking out the tongue for roughly 10 seconds. 

How Effective Is Myofunctional Therapy? 

Myofunctional therapy is highly effective because patients tend to adhere to treatments. Patients using alternative treatments such as CPAP are likely to abandon treatment before the prescribed period. Existing research also illustrates the effectiveness of myofunctional therapy in treating orofacial disorders. 

The findings of a 2021 study showed that evidence-based myofunctional therapy reduces sleep apnea. The treatment also improves snoring and daytime sleepiness. At the end of the treatment period, individuals ordinarily register better breathing habits during sleep. 

Get the Best Care

My Rivertown Dentist is the top myofunctional therapy provider in Madison, IN. Our certified healthcare professional creates a tailored treatment plan based on your kid’s orofacial disorder. The plan may incorporate a combination of exercises to adjust the relaxing position of orofacial muscles. Book an appointment with us today for all your oral health needs!