Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional Therapy

What Is Myofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) refer to issues that interfere with the normal growth and development of orofacial structures such as the mouth and face. They may be associated with a range of breathing, swallowing, speech, or even oral health issues.

The causes are varied and complex and may involve a mix of genetics, long-term habits, skeletal structure, and the environment. Myofunctional therapy is like physical therapy for the muscles in the face and mouth, including the tongue.

Every day we rely on these muscles to work together seamlessly as we speak, eat, drink, or swallow. For example, swallowing correctly requires coordination among the face, mouth, and throat muscles. We swallow hundreds of times a day, usually without thinking about it. What happens if the muscles involved just don’t work together as they should?

Myofunctional therapists aim to correct habits that hinder healthy development and function. Each treatment plan is customized to the specific individual.

Why Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders Require Treatment

Seeking treatment early mitigates and prevents a range of long-term problems. In the case of growing children, it is even more important to seek appropriate correction to prevent a lifetime of potentially preventable health concerns.

According to the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, most of these disorders originated from habitual mouth breathing, especially while sleeping, and insufficient nasal breathing.

There are a variety of different causes and varieties of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, including:

  • Habitual thumb or finger sucking
  • Thrusting the tongue
  • Sleeping or resting with the mouth open
  • Resting the tongue between or forward against the teeth
  • Allergies and sinus infections
  • Functional airway obstructions include a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, etc.
  • Other habits like sucking or chewing when one isn’t eating or drinking

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders may contribute to other oral and general health concerns, including:

  • Misalignment of teeth
  • Abnormal jaw growth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth grinding
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble sleeping

The goals are to correct conscious and unconscious habits such as:

  • Clenching
  • Grinding
  • Incorrect tongue positioning
  • Forward head position
  • Unusual lip sealing

Through myofunctional therapy, patients improve their ability to breathe, eat, drink, sleep and speak. Effective treatment also may improve appearance depending on the nature of the disorder. Successful therapy also often has added benefits of improving self-esteem and confidence.

Meet Dr. Kelly Our In-House Certified Myofunctional Therapist

Dr. Kelly Wilson has a passion for helping maintain the best oral health for Charlotte families. Which made the next step of becoming a certified Myofunctional Therapist a no-brainer. Dr. Kelly understands that children don't "grow out of these dysfunctions, they grow into them" and the best way to treat them is to treat them early.

Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation

If you or your child shows signs of a myofunctional disorder, the first step is an examination, assessment, and consultation.

Myofunctional therapy often requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Depending on the issues, allied professionals, including osteopaths, orthodontists, or dentists, may be involved in the treatment plan.

At Southview Dentistry, we feel honored and privileged to help our patients, including children, improve their oral health. Oral health is an essential part of overall health and growth. If you live in or near Charlotte and are looking for a myofunctional therapist near you, give us a call today.

If you are looking for myomunchee therapy in Charlotte, NC, Southview Dentistry has you covered!

We offer myomunchee therapy to help our patients with a range of developmental, dental, and medical conditions, including:

  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Oral dysfunction
  • Poor tongue posture
  • Habitual thumb or finger sucking
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing
  • Problems with learning speech, daily speech, and articulation

Myomunchee therapy is offered by allied multidisciplinary professionals, including dentists, speech therapists, chiropractors, myofunctional therapists, and others. Since dentists have extensive knowledge of oral health and facial anatomy, a trained and experienced dentist with myomunchee therapy is often ideal.

What is Myomunchee Therapy?

Myomunchee therapy is an oral physical therapy technique using a special device made from medical-grade silicone. Patients use it to do exercises to strengthen underdeveloped oral muscles, and it helps patients develop better chewing, breathing, sleeping, and other aspects of overall health.

Your myomunchee-trained dentist fits you for the proper sized appliance, which lasts from months for a growing child to years for an adult. Myomunchee therapy is often prescribed as part of a myofunctional therapeutic treatment.

The Myomunchee device may be used either passively or actively, depending on the treatment plan. Passive use may consist of simply holding the device in the mouth to allow the mouth to rest while also promoting nose breathing. Active use would consist of exercises like chewing the device.

The Myomunchee device was originally developed in the 1960s by a dentist named Dr. Kevin Bourke to help children develop the muscles that support chewing, breathing, and other activities that influence facial cranial development.

Your Doctor for Myomunchee and Myofunctional Therapy

Southview’s own Dr. Kelly Wilson is a certified Myofunctional Therapist passionate about helping Charlotte families achieve and maintain oral health and wellness. She understands that children don't just "grow out of these dysfunctions; they grow into them," and early treatment is ideal.

In addition to Myofunctional therapy, Dr. Kelly also offers Myomunchee therapy. Drawing from these options, Dr. Kelly creates a custom treatment plan tailored to each patient.

If you live in the Charlotte area and you or your child needs myomunchee therapy, schedule a consultation with Southview Cosmetic Dentistry. Local residents have trusted their oral health and restoration to us since 2009. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.