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Green Leaves

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy 101

You’ve Got Questions - We've Got Answers

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is a personalized exercise and behavior modification program that focuses on retraining the tongue and facial muscles to achieve proper tongue rest position, nasal breathing and lip seal at all times.​

 

 

 


What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?

An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) refers to the abnormal development of oral and facial musculature and bone structures. These disorders are demonstrated by abnormal resting tongue and lip posture, abnormal chewing and swallowing patterns, dental malocclusions, abnormal TMJ function, blocked nasal airways, and possible speech problems among other symptoms.


What are some signs of OMDs?
 

  • Poor sleep/ chronic fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Acid reflux (heartburn) or gas

  • Jaw clenching and grinding

  • TMJ pain

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Irritability

  • Mouth breathing

  • Snoring

  • Sleep apnea

  • Tongue thrust swallow

  • Poor posture

  • Neck and back pain

  • Frequent upper respiratory infections

  • Chronic seasonal allergies

  • Dental decay or gum disease

  • Bed wetting

  • ADHD Symptoms

  • Teeth movement after braces

  • Facial asymmetry

 


Am I a candidate for Myofunctional Therapy?

Many adults and children could benefit greatly from myofunctional therapy, especially those who have a history of or are currently in orthodontics, have TMJ disorder or pain, experience snoring, sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome, or have a tongue thrust swallow. If you experience any of these or the symptoms mentioned in the above paragraphs, you are a candidate for myofunctional therapy.


 

What ages do you work with?
 

We work with all ages anywhere in the world!

For ages 5 and up, we recommend our full myofunctional therapy program.

For ages 3-4, we recommend our Mini Myo program.

For ages 0-2.5, we recommend our Oral Health and Development Coaching program.

More information about these offerings can be found on our Services page.

 

 

 

 

Why does tongue position matter?

Proper oromyofacial development requires the tongue to rest at the top of the mouth with the lips closed while breathing through the nose. Without this tongue placement, facial muscles and structures do not develop appropriately. This can lead to mouth breathing, the tongue thrusting forward when swallowing or speaking, abnormal jaw development, an elongated face, a compromised airway, and many other unhealthy conditions. Poor tongue posture can lead to teeth shifting after orthodontics, airway blockage at night, and nasal congestion.

 

How long does it take for Myofunctional Therapy to work?

 

Every person is different. Your myofunctional therapy plan will reflect that. You’ll notice changes within a few sessions, but experiencing the full benefits takes time. For some clients myofunctional therapy is complete in a few months, and for others it can take up to a year. Factors that can affect length of therapy include the need for jaw expansion or nasal surgery, if tethered oral tissue releases are required, and how often you meet with your myofunctional therapist.


How often do I meet with my therapist?

 

This is customized to you. Some clients meet with us every 1-2 weeks, others meet with us every 3-4 weeks. You will be instructed on how to master your exercises before you meet with your therapist again so that you get exactly what you need and don’t waste any time or money on unnecessary sessions.

 

Is Myofunctional Therapy new?

Myofunctional therapy has been around since 1918. It is gaining popularity as more and more health care professionals and dental providers are recognizing the importance that tongue position, nasal breathing, and facial development play in sleep quality, dental health, and overall health.


What is tongue tie?

Tongue tie is another name for ankyloglossia where tongue function is impeded by the frenum (piece of connective tissue) under the tongue. Many people who have undiagnosed tongue tie have a “posterior” tongue tie, or a frenum that isn’t attached at the tip of the tongue, but rather towards the middle of the underside of the tongue, causing floor of mouth compensation. Posterior tongue tie can cause just as many problems as anterior tongue tie. Physicians and dentists are not always trained in diagnosing and treating posterior ankyloglossia. Part of our concierge myofunctional therapy is helping you find a trained provider as close to you as possible.


Do I need to start Myofunctional Therapy before tongue tie release?

 

Yes, absolutely! Without myofunctional therapy prior to tongue-tie release, the provider often has more limited access to the deep connective tissue and could miss some, causing a partial release and need for a re-do (revision) release. We will coordinate with your release provider and make sure you have the proper exercises before your release and after to ensure optimal healing and results.

Do you take insurance?

 

Myofunctional therapy is not covered by insurance unless the person is in speech therapy, BUT myofunctional therapy is FSA/HSA eligible! We will provide you with a receipt to submit.

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