DEVELOP NEW HABITS TOIMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy in Columbus, IN
Sounds like a mouthful, but orofacial myofunctional therapy is actually useful treatment for mouth and snoring conditions. Essentially, it’s therapy designed to retrain your brain and develop new habits to help your mouth and body function properly.
Our RDH’s have trained with the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and International Association of Orofacial Myology
What Is Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional therapy is a form of treatment for orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD). OMDs are disorders that involve the muscles and functionality of the face. These disorders can lead to issues with swallowing, facial development, chewing, TMJ movement, facial aesthetics, and more. Because OMDs can lead to such a diverse group of problems that affect not only a patient’s oral health but their overall health, too, it’s crucial to treat them as early as possible. Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based treatment plan that is quite similar to physical therapy. Its purpose is to retrain and coordinate your facial muscles to promote proper oral habits, growth, and development. It is often used in conjunction with other treatments to help patients overcome their myofunctional disorders.
Is Myofunctional Therapy for Kids & Adults?
Yes! In children, we focus on eliminating improper oral habits and promoting proper growth and development to prevent issues later in life. In adults, we assist in treating many of the symptoms that accompany orofacial myofunctional disorders.
Mouth Breathing & Sleep Disordered Breathing
Patients that keep their lips constantly parted have an improper lip seal and are often referred to as, “mouth breathers.” Mouth breathing is one of the most common signs of OMDs. While it may not seem like a big deal, mouth breathing leads to an increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease, as well as obstructive sleep apnea. With myofunctional therapy, we work to improve the resting position of the lips in order to strengthen oral muscles.
Signs of Improper Oral Posture
Wondering if you or your child are suffering from an OMD. Your oral posture may shed light into your oral health. Some of the most common signs of improper rest oral posture include:
- Constantly parted lips at rest
- Continuously dry lips
- Elongated Face
- Flattened cheeks
- Lip and cheek strain when swallowing
- Prominent cupid’s bow above lip
- Rolled-out upper lip
- Recessed jawline from ideal position
- Nose-lip angle that is greater than 110 degrees
Tongue Thrust Therapy
Tongue thrust is a natural, involuntary movement that newborns exhibit that should disappear within a few months. If it doesn’t, tongue thrust therapy may be necessary to help the infant learn to swallow properly and lose the thrust. Tongue thrust is actually caused by an improper swallowing technique. As babies age, they should develop the proper swallowing technique that adults exhibit where they place the tongue firmly against the top palate of the mouth. Tongue thrust that continues past the first few months of life can cause difficulty with feedings, eating solid foods, and eventually with tooth development as the primary teeth erupt.
With myofunctional therapy, we can help retrain all of the muscles and nerves in the face, mouth, and throat to create a proper swallowing technique and eliminate the tongue thrust action.
Proper Tongue Position
- Low, improper tongue posture is usually because of necessity or habit
- A low tongue position can cause airway obstruction and improper facial muscle functioning.
- When nasal breathing is temporarily or permanently impaired, the jaw drops causing the tongue to position itself low and forward to open the airway.
- Sleep disordered breathing can cause the tongue to move forward and rest against the teeth.
- Proper tongue posture is where the tongue rests at the top of the mouth without any pressure on the top teeth