Myofunctional Therapy: Recognizing and Treating Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

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WHAT IS MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY?

Myofunctional therapy focuses on the muscles of the mouth, face and throat. By strengthening weak muscles, learning proper function and making behavior modifications, improvements can be made to breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing.

WHAT ARE OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL DISORDERS?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders are disorders of the muscles and the functions of the face and mouth.  These disorders may affect breastfeeding, chewing, swallowing, speech, jaw movement, facial and skeletal growth, orthodontic treatment, facial appearance and more.

Do You Suffer From Any Of These?

N

Mouth Breathing?

N

Sleep Apnea?

N

Snoring?

N

Orthodontic Challenges?

N

Tongue-Tie?

N

Headaches?

N

Speech Concerns?

N

Jaw Pain?

N

Thumb Sucking?

N

Frequent Stomach Ache?

If you answered “yes” to any of the symptoms listed above, you might have myofunctional dysfunction and could benefit from my treatment program.

There is not much cultural awareness about tongue posture, so even as a CMT who understands the power of soft tissues, I was hesitate about this process. Additionally, I have an overbite and an open bite, and I was discouraged about what this therapy could realistically do for me. However, now, at the end of my experience, I am so excited to recommend this treatment to you. Carmen is compassionate and responsible. I paid in full all at once for the discount, but even with the money already in her pocket, she was fully responsive to me and consistently went above-and-beyond to answer my questions and address my concerns. This has been very empowering for me on a personal level, and although I still have physical limitations around a closed bite, I can close my mouth and feel my tongue at the top of my mouth. It feels amazing! Totally worth the time, challenges, and money. I learned about my body in ways that will enrich my life from this day forward. Myofunctional therapy is the future. I just hope everyone gets to work with someone like Carmen.

Airica P.

Certified Massage Therapist

The Pieces of the Myofunctional Therapy Puzzle

Many concerns are all pieces of a bigger puzzle. Myofunctional therapy to address one issue will often solve more than one concern. My therapy works to deal with the patient as a whole and not just finding a band aid for one symptom or concern. My goal is long term problem solving for each and every one of my patients.

Mouth Breathing

Nature intended for us to breathe out of our nose. It’s important to learn how to leave the complications of mouth breathing behind. Myofunctional therapy can help you master this habit so you can breathe properly and more efficiently.

Tongue-Tie

When your tongue is anchored to the floor of your mouth, you have restricted range of movement. It can be difficult to nasal breathe, articulate speech, and swallow properly. This therapy teaches you proper tongue position which in turn offers a cascade of benefits.

Snoring / Sleep Apnea

Anything that disrupts your sleep can be detrimental to your health. It is also detrimental to your health to disrupt oxygen flow to your brain! Knowing that there are solutions to these problems is the first step. Seeking therapy is the next step!

Speech Concerns

When the tongue and lips are weak it may be difficult to properly articulate speech. If there is a tongue-tie involved it can be even more challenging. Myofunctional therapy focuses on the muscle function so that your speech therapist can help you with the learning and cognitive areas of speech therapy.

Thumb Sucking

The mouth is pliable and when thumb or finger sucking occurs the shape of the arch is remodeled, creating orthodontic challenges such as an open bite or cross bite. Quitting the habit is the first step, but it is also very important to learn new habits and retrain the tongue. I encourage that parents seek myofunctional therapy to stop a child’s habit before the baby teeth start to fall out.

Orthodontics

Straightening teeth is a challenge to begin with! If you have a tongue thrust swallowing pattern you might be fighting the orthodontic process every step of the way! Habits such as tongue thrusting, low resting tongue posture and thumb sucking must be corrected so that orthodontic work can be long lasting and successful.  Learn more about braces and myofunctional therapy.

Stomach Aches

Aerophagia, or air swallowing, causes many digestive disturbances in patients who do it. An improper swallowing pattern, caused by a tongue thrust, causes you to swallow air. This leads to stomachaches and other digestive problems.

Tongue Thrust

A tongue thrust pushes the tongue forward when swallowing, often pushing the teeth forward and causing the patient to swallow air. Correcting a tongue thrust is important for orthodontic success as well as alleviating digestive issues.

Headaches

Headaches happen for many reasons including jaw pain, posture and sleep disruptions. Myofunctional therapy often helps eliminate headaches stemming from temporomandibular pain, poor sleep and bad posture.

Jaw Pain

When the tongue is not properly resting in the roof of the mouth, the jaw joint is not supported. When the tongue is low, the condyle shifts forwards often causing jaw pain for patients.

Is My Therapy for You?

Carmen Woodland

Carmen Woodland

Myofunctional Therapist

I’m not going to bore you with the chronology of my life, so I’ll just throw the good stuff out there!  I’ve been in dental hygiene for 15 years.  After many years, I began to get bored with dental hygiene but I loved the teaching and helping part of my job.  I was introduced to myofunctional therapy in 2005.  From then on, I began to notice that alot of conversations were not being had because either the dental hygienist or the dentist didn’t have the proper information and education to talk with the patient or parent.  Fast forward several years and many hours of clinical practice, a jaunt to graduate school to earn an MBA and then deciding that I really liked teaching and helping people more than I loved business forecasting and balance sheets!  So, I aligned with an incredible mentor who whipped me back into “Myofunctional” shape and here I am working with my very own patients!

Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have!  I offer free 30 min consultations, so we can visit personally about your concerns.

My therapy programs are customized to your needs and you complete each session via Skype.  Sit back in your comfy clothes from your living room!  No need to leave home!

I’m right here!  Let me help you fix things!

Carmen