Myofunctional therapy is a treatment program used to restore the improper function of oral structures. It uses a combination of physical therapy exercises to improve breathing and facial posture.
Individuals with insufficient nasal breathing often develop maladaptive habits and patterns of orofacial function that may impact their facial skeletal growth and result in various disorders.
Myofunctional therapy helps to eliminate all these issues. This therapeutic approach trains your body to rest naturally and treats mouth breathing by changing your facial posture when your lips are closed and your tongue rests against your palate. This can significantly transform your appearance and improve your facial structure.
If you are considering choosing myofunctional therapy to strengthen your facial muscles or eliminate posture problems, here are a few things that you need to know about:
1. The Treatment Is Convenient
Myofunctional therapy may seem quite intricate or involved, but it is a minimally invasive treatment option that can be performed in a matter of minutes. People can do these exercises while carrying out their normal daily activities. However, they have to make sure that they remain persistent. This is because consistency is the key to myofunctional therapy.
Therefore, exercises involved in this therapy should be performed daily or as prescribed by your therapist, and make sure to stick to the plan. In most cases, people begin to experience significant improvements after 6 months.
2.Myofunctional Therapy Can Shorten Orthodontic Treatments
People usually don’t want to correct their misaligned teeth because they are unwilling to deal with the hassle and duration of orthodontic treatments. However, myofunctional therapy can help prepare your mouth for the realignment process by improving the functionality and strength of your jaw muscles. This makes it easier for your mouth to support removable orthodontic procedures like traditional braces or clear aligners.
3.It Helps Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that impacts the lives of millions of people. If left unaddressed, it can eventually lead to higher risks of cardiovascular issues like stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and more. But myofunctional therapy is here for your rescue. It effectively helps strengthen the muscles of your lips, tongue, mouth, and neck, which can prevent the collapse of your throat muscles, keeping your airway clear while you are asleep.
In this way, this treatment program can reduce the intensity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms and reduce daytime sleepiness on its own or when combined with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).
4.Your Appearance Improves by Myofunctional Treatment
Orofacial disorders often result in an elongated face, recessed chin, and other overbite or open bite issues that lead to an unappealing facial appearance. Therefore, people opt for various cosmetic and myofunctional treatments.
Cosmetic dental procedures improve the look of your teeth, but myofunctional therapy has the power to transform your overall appearance. It addresses various orofacial issues and helps improve your looks by creating a more favorable profile. It promotes proper breathing and swallowing patterns. Generally, these changes provide patients with a more attractive and youthful appearance.
The only thing that it requires is for you to remain consistent, and it will change your facial appearance for the better!
5.Everyone Benefits from Myofunctional Treatment
Myofunctional therapy works for people belonging to any age group as long as they fulfill their commitment to doing the therapeutic exercises at home and attend their appointments regularly. By following this treatment consistently, you can experience a significant difference in your orofacial structure and your swallowing or breathing habits. Moreover, this therapeutic approach is considered safe for everyone, although it should be prescribed by a licensed myofunctional therapist.
How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?
This treatment plan usually combines a mixture of various neuromuscular, breathing and physical therapy exercises altogether. As a result, these movements help improve or alter your facial profile and speech patterns by restoring your chewing and swallowing habits. In a nutshell, this therapeutic approach primarily aims to increase the strength of your throat and tongue muscles and re-train them to perform at optimum levels.
It is also very effective for obstructive sleep apnea disorder. Patients suffering from this condition have their throat and tongue muscles more relaxed during sleep, resulting in a collapse of their airway. Myofunctional therapy can increase the tone and strength of these upper airway muscles, reducing the collapse of the airways during sleep.
Research has demonstrated that this treatment plan has proven to be very effective in lowering the apnea-hypopnea index by almost 50% in adults and up to 63% in children.
Who Should Opt for Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional therapy is usually prescribed for children suffering from orofacial issues, but it is a customized treatment that holds significant benefits for people of all ages. Children with speech impediments require myofunctional therapy to improve their facial and mouth movements. It is also beneficial for bruxism, sleep apnea, TMJ or any other oral conditions.
This therapy employs exercises and behavior modification techniques to correct the functional irregularities of your face and mouth, including:
- Tongue thrust and swallowing
- Forward resting posture of the tongue
- Short upper lip
- Open-mouth resting posture
- Oral muscle movement for speech sounds
- Thumb sucking
With myofunctional therapy, patients can regain the joy of proper speaking, breathing, eating, and even sleeping, restoring their appearance and confidence. However, an assessment and treatment plan should be delivered by a professional therapist who has been specially trained and is working as a professional and licensed myofunctional therapist.
In this restorative approach, therapists work to cultivate an awareness of the functionality of orofacial muscles and develop an individualized therapy program for patients. The main goal of this treatment plan is to strengthen and rehabilitate tongue and facial muscles while eliminating speech and postural problems.
Myofunctional clinicians use particularly tailored and customized exercises to address every orofacial problem. These tailored exercises usually include lips, tongue, and jaw functional activities. These therapeutic exercises undoubtedly help eliminate or greatly reduce issues like drooling, chewing disorders, open lip resting posture, articulation problems, and incorrect swallowing patterns; hence, improving a person’s quality of life.