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What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Highly Effective Oral Exercises to Improve Breathing, Bite, and Orofacial Posture.

The interaction between orofacial structural growth and muscle activity starts early in development, and the physiologic functions of suction, mastication, swallowing and nasal breathing in infancy play an important role in stimulating subsequent growth.


The habits we develop in our youth inevitably translate to behaviors later in life. By training the muscles in the face to act in their optimal biological way, muscle memory can keep the teeth and jaw in alignment as we grow and develop. (In many cases eliminating the need for future orthodontics).  

Our Goals

  • To teach the importance of proper tongue position/oral rest posture. ​A low tongue position can contribute to improper muscle functioning and can lead to airway obstruction.

  • To teach the importance of establishing lip seal.

  • To teach the importance of continuous nasal breathing.​

  • To guide you through pre/post operative Myofunctional therapy exercises in a clinical setting and as part of a successful tongue-tie (Frenuloplasty) procedure.

  • To help strengthen the tongue and orofacial muscles through myofunctional therapy exercises and pattern retraining to help resolve issues associated with sleep, breathing, posture, orthodontic relapse, cervical neck tension, and jaw pain, among others.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)

OMDs affect the functions and muscles of the mouth and face. They can cause a variety of problems, either directly or indirectly:

  • problems breastfeeding

  • stunted facial skeletal growth and development

  • disordered chewing

  • swallowing

  • speech impediments

  • malocclusion

  • temporomandibular joint movement/disorders

  • poor oral hygiene

  • stability of orthodontic treatment

  • facial esthetics

  • and more

Proper Tongue Position
(Oral Rest Posture)

  • A low tongue position is either a necessity or a habit.

  • A low tongue position can contribute to improper muscle functioning and can lead to airway obstruction.

  • Any time the nasal breathing is impaired, temporarily or chronically, the jaw drops and the tongue positions itself low and forward to open up the upper airways.

  • A low tongue rest posture habit can be lasting even if the causative factors are corrected ie. Tongue tie has been released or nasal breathing has been established.  Myofunctional therapy can help correct the tongue resting position - creating better habits for better health.

  • Lack of nasal breathing or sleep disordered breathing may lead to the tongue moving or resting forward and pushing against the teeth (static). During the swallow, instead of pushing up to the palate the tongue moves forward or laterally, called anterior, bi-lateral, unilateral or bi-maxillary tongue thrust (dynamic).

  • In children, establishing this good resting tongue posture is critical for good facial growth and airway development. 

Signs of Improper Oral Rest Posture

  • Lips apart at rest

  • Lip strain with flattening or wrinkling of chin when lips are closed

  • Flaccid, rolled-out upper lip

  • Crusty or dry lips

  • Accentuated “cupid’s bow” appearance of upper lip

  • Flattened cheeks

  • One or both jaws recessed from ideal position

  • Nose-lip angle greater than 110 degrees

Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing can completely alter how your child looks which is the skeletal development of a child, and disrupt airway development which affects the amount of oxygen the body requires for proper function. We know that mouth breathing affects the resting position of the facial and tongue muscles, often mouth breathers experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms from early development to later in life consequences. Sadly, failure to nasal breath affects your overall health. Mouth breathing affects the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide that are in the body. Our bodies rely on a specific amount of incoming oxygen and outgoing carbon dioxide to remain in a healthy state.

contact us

Call or text: 702-518-3368  •  Email: smartmouthlv@gmail.com

 

© 2018 by Tara Erson, DMD

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