If you’re one of the 38% of people suffering from an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD), then Myofunctional Therapy can make a difference in your day-to-day life while also improving oral health!
First, let’s take a look at what OMDs are, and how we can work to correct what’s going on.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
An Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder typically describes abnormal jaw, tongue, or lip position during rest, swallowing or speech. They can be hereditary, develop from improper oral habits (thumb sucking, teeth clenching/grinding, etc.), or arise from an inability to breathe through one’s nose.
OMDs can cause several issues including:
- Sleep Apnea
- Tongue Thrusting
- TMJ dysfunctions
- Facial distortion
One way to work through these issues and recreate healthy positions for the jaw, tongue, and lips is through Myofunctional Therapy.
What is Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional Therapy uses physical therapy to help re-educate your facial muscles, as well as the muscles in your tongue and lips. It is a non-invasive way to train your muscles to work (and rest) as they were intended to!
This is achieved through straightforward (and painless) exercises. Once you’ve learned the exercises from a physical therapist, you can practice them whenever you want: watching TV, driving in the car, or cooking dinner.
It is all about building repetition. This helps your face and jaw muscles relearn where they should be and how they should move. With self-discipline and commitment, you can see really big results.
The Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy
If one of the above disorders is affecting your life, then therapy can make a big difference. As you incorporate your personalized exercises into your life you can potentially:
- open airways that can provide more restful sleep.
- reduce jaw pain caused by TMJ.
- reduce the amount of necessary orthodontics.
- support healthier swallowing, chewing, and breathing habits.
- change the shape of your face.
- improve your quality of life.
According to the International Association of Orofacial Myology, “…studies have shown that Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy can be 80-90% effective in correcting rest posture, swallowing and other oral functions”. Not only that but “…these corrections are retained years after completing therapy”.
It’s Not Just for Kids
While Myofunctional Therapy is often discussed as a treatment for children, you’re never too old to invest in your oral health! The jawbone is one of the most dynamic bones in the body, which means it can handle the changes that come with investing in this type of therapy.
At Dakota Dental, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits Myofunctional Therapy can provide to adults and children alike. If you think that this therapy is right for you, we’re here to help. You can learn more about our Myofunctional Therapy work here, and of course we’re always happy to answer any questions you have. For more information, contact our team today!