Get the Facts about Myofunctional Therapy

facts about myofunctional therapySanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we believe that maintaining a high level of oral health is crucial to your overall wellness. Due to this commitment, we offer a wide range of services, including myofunctional therapy. You may have heard about myofunctional therapy, but have questions about treatment of this kind and how it may be beneficial. This article will explore some common questions about myofunctional therapy, to help you get the facts on this unique method of treatment.

How does myofunctional therapy work?  

If you enter a course of myofunctional therapy, you will be prescribed a personalized series of exercises. These exercises may work the muscles of the mouth, face, and tongue. Performed regularly over a period of time, myofunctional therapy can help resolve a variety of dysfunctions in the orofacial system, including problems with breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speech. In short, myofunctional therapy re-educates the orofacial system, helping to normalize function and resting oral posture.

Myofunctional therapy can benefit patients of any age, but it can be especially helpful for young children or infants who still are breastfeeding. It is considered the go-to method for treating orofacial myofunctional disorders.

What are some of the problems that manifest as the result of an orofacial myofunctional disorder?  

Also known as OMDs, orofacial myofunctional disorders can occur due to functional or structural alterations in the orofacial system. Common issues that develop as a consequence of living with an OMD include difficulties with breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speech. Myofunctional therapy helps treat an OMD through a series of exercises that resolves the dysfunction and any negative consequences caused by it. One of the goals of myofunctional therapy is to find or restore the ideal resting oral posture—with lips closed, teeth closed, and the tongue resting comfortably against the upper palate.

Why or resting oral posture important?

Resting oral posture has to do with how your hold your mouth and tongue when it isn’t doing anything. Take a moment to observe yourself right now while reading this article. How is your mouth – is it open or closed? Where is your tongue – is it pressed against the roof of your mouth or lying low? How are you breathing – through your mouth or your nose? Depending on how you answered these questions, your answers could be indicative that you have an OMD. Myofunctional therapy can help retrain your oral muscles, including your tongue, to rest properly and function the right way when you swallow, while encouraging nasal breathing.

What you get with myofunctional therapy?

The goal of myofunctional therapy may vary with each patient, but retraining your orofacial muscles could help you breathe through your nose, which is the preferred method of breathing for overall health. Also, if you have difficulty eating certain foods or experience tongue thrust, a course of these exercises could help correct your swallowing pattern, or allow you greater mobility of your tongue to correct a lisp. Our myofunctional therapist will meet with you to discuss your goals, and how to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Myofunctional therapy in Scotts Valley

Ready to learn more about myofunctional therapy? At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, our staff includes Jeanne Shimizu, a dental hygienist with 30 years of experience who also is trained and licensed as a myofunctional therapist. For more information about myofunctional therapy and its advantages, contact our office at (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.