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If you recently learned about Myomunchee Therapy, you may be interested in learning more about the potential benefits to you or your loved one.
It is a “chewable” dental tool that helps strengthen and retrain selected facial muscles to improve oral health, nasal breathing, and more. We rely so much on the tiny muscles in the mouth, throat, and face to swallow, breathe, speak, and express ourselves.
Myomunchee therapy may help people of all ages who have underdeveloped oral muscles that negatively influence growth or normal functions.
The device is made from medical-grade silicone and looks a little like a mouthguard that someone might use while playing sports. Instead of protecting the teeth from impact, it promotes muscle toning and active chewing. It is a physical therapy tool often used in myofunctional therapy. It’s often used twice a day to promote healthy oral development. However, your therapist may have recommendations tailored to your needs or your child’s needs.
This article highlights some of the benefits of Myomunchee therapy, but it isn’t a replacement for care from a dentist or skilled myofunctional therapist. The best care is personalized to your needs, medical history, and anatomy. Your dentist fits you for the Myomunchee, which typically lasts for around six months, depending on how much and how vigorously you use it.
Benefits of Myomunchee Therapy
Your therapist may recommend either active or passive use of the Myomunchee device.
- During passive use, the lips are just resting, with the lips lightly sealed around them. It helps develop a “lip seal” and offers a release for the soft tissues of the throat and the jaws.
- During active use, you actively chew or do other exercises as recommended.
Myomunchee therapy has several applications for both children and adults. They include:
- Improve or correct some suboptimal orofacial muscular functions for better nose breathing, swallowing, chewing, speech, and more.
- Help get children to stop sucking their thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers.
- Help with jaw development and mouth development in growing children.
- It helps with developing muscles for speech and articulation.
- Assist with the drainage of the ear’s eustachian tubes, which may help prevent recurring ear infections.
- Sometimes it stimulates saliva production and helps fight dry mouth.
- Stimulates teeth and gums through tiny prongs on the device.
Children with recurring ear infections or chronic mouth breathers also participate in Myomunchee therapy. Teens and adults with mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, or other issues may also benefit. While much of Myomunchee therapy focuses on children developing their jaw and facial muscles, there is also promising research covering the benefits for older adults. For example, one study explored the benefits for elderly adults and how using a Myomunchee may help maintain swallowing ability and help with oral hygiene.
Whether due to habit or anatomy, Myomunchee therapy can support positive development and help address a range of conditions related to:
- Poor tongue posture and tongue thrusting
- Habitually breathing through the mouth instead of the nose
- Sleep apnea and sleep-related breathing disorders
- Poor muscle tone and development
- Speech issues
- Chronic finger sucking, thumb sucking, and more
- Lack of lip seal and strengthening lip muscles
- Difficulties with swallowing or chewing
Since Myomunchee therapy is relatively new, we still need more research to document the benefits and oral health applications. Unfortunately, some insurance plans don’t yet cover it despite the benefits many found from daily use in coordination with dental care or therapy.
If a simple exercise tool can help with such a range of issues, many people feel it is worth their time to give it a try, especially within the context of other therapeutic interventions.
The Myomunchee comes in different sizes for different-sized mouths and needs ranging from infancy through elder adulthood. Some signs that you or a loved one may benefit from Myomunchee therapy include the following symptoms or conditions:
- Trouble breathing through the nose or habitual mouth breathing
- Keeping the lips open when relaxed
- Messy eating or difficulty eating
- Crooked or poorly aligned teeth
- Congestion in the ears or nose
- Tooth grinding or clenching
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble swallowing
- Chronic headaches
- Poor posture and resting position of the mouth, lips, and tongue
- And more
If you notice any of these issues, be sure to speak to your dentist, speech therapist, doctor, or other allied professionals. Since Myomunchee therapy is an emerging treatment, you may also have more success if you search for a professional with experience with this and myofunctional therapy.
At Southview Dentistry, we keep up with emerging therapeutic options that benefit our patients in the Charlotte, NC, community and their families. Our practice focuses on treatments that enhance daily lives, whether it is preventative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or myofunctional therapy.
We have a proven track record and a passion for treating Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Dr. Kelly Wilson is a trained Myofunctional Therapist and is driven by her passion for helping Charlotte area families achieve optimal oral health and development. She draws from multiple techniques customizing each treatment to the individual’s needs.
Whenever you or a family member visit a myofunctional therapist, speak frankly and openly with your therapist. They must be informed of your medical history, existing treatments, symptoms, challenges, and any other potential health issues. Sometimes it is easy to overlook vital information your dentist or therapist needs since it isn’t always clear what is relevant.
Take the opportunity to ask any questions and clarify any information you find confusing or unclear. Doing this puts you in a position of strength when navigating the complicated world of your medical and dental care options. We believe an informed patient is an empowered patient, especially when it comes to deciding which new and lesser-known treatment options may be beneficial.