Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Treatment
Therapy starts with a thorough examination of the structure and function of the orofacial muscles. We evaluate lip and tongue position at rest, swallowing, breathing, jaw function, frenum attachments, facial symmetry, posture, and lip strength, among other things. Therapy is personalized to each individual's needs, based on the evaluation. It generally consists of half hour online sessions with exercises to be performed at home on a daily basis. Sessions begin with every other week, then spread out over the course of treatment.
There will need to be collaboration with other medical and dental professionals in order to get the most benefit from therapy. Since mouth breathing is a known trigger for myofunctional disorders, an ENT or Allergist may need to be consulted prior to therapy. An orthodontist may be involved, as well. Besides straightening the teeth, an orthodontist can help to expand the palate to make room for the tongue and teeth. If a tongue or lip tie is present, we will also work with a dentist or oral surgeon to release the frenums. I always recommend chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, or massage, as body posture plays a large roll in the success of therapy.
Therapy could be recommended for someone with a tongue thrust, low tongue posture, mouth breathing, TMJ/facial muscle pain, orthodontic relapse, open bite, cross bite, tongue tie, and habit elimination.
Thumb and finger sucking, extended pacifier use, nail biting, lip licking, and tongue sucking are just some of the parafunctional habits that can be detrimental to oral health. Sucking habits can lead to a high, narrow palate, flared front teeth, and open bite. Open bite makes it difficult to bite into foods with the front teeth, as the teeth do not touch. Positive reinforcement techniques are important to promote elimination of these habits, however, the child must be ready and willing to quit.
Many people with myofunctional disorders have a habit of breathing through their mouth in the day or night. Myofunctional therapy includes exercises to improve lip tone, lip closure, and nasal breathing. Nasal breathing is essential to maintain total body health as the body cannot absorb oxygen as well when air is breathed in and out through the mouth. Breathing through the mouth can also contribute to snoring, sleep disordered breathing, or sleep apnea. Myofunctional therapy has been show to decrease apnea hypopnea index (AHI) by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children.
Pre and Post Frenectomy
If one is found to have a tight or short lingual frenum (tongue tie), therapy will be performed before and after the release. The lingual frenum or frenulum is the band of attachment under the tongue that may prevent the tongue from properly resting in the palate. Doing therapy prior to and after the release will improve the outcome of the tongue tie release and help to prevent reattachment as the tongue heals.
Headaches and Jaw Tension
The majority of clients that I work with experience chronic headaches and jaw tension. The tongue needs to be suctioned to the palate to carry the weight of the lower jaw and allow the jaw and neck muscles to relax. We work on correct resting posture of the jaw, tongue and jaw dissociation (moving the tongue without the help of the jaw), and manual techniques to eliminate muscle tension.
What is the cost of treatment?
I've experienced the great benefits of myofunctional therapy myself and want it to be affordable to reach more people. Please contact me for specific pricing. Payments methods include cash, check, or credit card.