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Understanding Myofunctional Therapy: The Key to Optimizing Oral Function

Having a healthy oral function is essential to maintain good health. Myofunctional therapy can be one of the most effective ways to improve oral function. It focuses on the health and functioning of the muscles in the face and mouth, and it has many benefits that can help patients of all ages.

In this article, we’re going to explain what myofunctional therapy is, how it works, and who can benefit from it. Keep reading to learn all about it!

What Is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is an effective form of treatment for various muscular dysfunction within the oral region. This type of therapy aims to treat and restore the balance in the tongue and facial muscles, allowing for optimized biting, chewing, and swallowing functions.

The primary goals of myofunctional therapy are to re-educate the muscles of the face, neck, and mouth. This is accomplished through a strategic sequence of exercises designed to help the muscles function harmoniously. It also includes strategies to improve breathing and swallow function, as well as to re-position the tongue to its proper place in the mouth.

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?

Myofunctional therapy involves a systematic approach to help the muscles work properly. The main goal of myofunctional therapy is to re-teach the muscles to perform their normal functions. The five primary components of myofunctional therapy include:

Assessment:

During an assessment, an oral function specialist will collect detailed information about the patient. They will gather information about the patient’s health history, medical history, and any other relevant information to help tailor the myofunctional therapy program to the patient’s needs.

Treatment Plan:

After an assessment, a treatment plan will be developed to help the patient achieve their optimal goals. The treatment plan will include specific exercises, breathing and swallowing techniques, and dietary modifications to help the patient improve their oral function.

Exercise:

Once a treatment plan has been completed, the patient will start with a series of exercises. These exercises are designed to help the muscles of the face and neck to work properly. Over time, the frequency, intensity, and duration of the exercises will be increased to help achieve the best results.

Progress Monitoring:

The progress of the patient is monitored throughout the treatment period. The oral function specialist will collect information to monitor the patient’s improvements, and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Referral:

After the patient has completed their treatment plan, the oral function specialist will make a referral to another health professional, if necessary. This could include a dentist, orthodontist, or other health professional to help the patient continue to achieve and maintain their goals.

Who Can Benefit from Myofunctional Therapy?

Virtually anyone can benefit from myofunctional therapy. Many people with issues with swallowing, breathing, or other oral functions can benefit from it. It is particularly effective for those with tongue-tie, as well as compensatory habits such as thumb-sucking or mouth breathing. Also, patients with jaw issues, malocclusion, crooked teeth, or other issues related to their oral function can benefit from myofunctional therapy.

In addition to achieving optimal oral function, myofunctional therapy can also help individuals improve their oral hygiene. This can be particularly helpful for those with poor oral health habits, such as poor brushing and flossing, or poor diet and hydration, as well as those who have difficulty cleaning their tongue or cheeks.

Conclusion

Overall, Myofunctional therapy is an extremely effective treatment for a variety of oral functioning issues. It improves the function of the face, neck and mouth muscles. It can be extremely helpful for anyone who experiences issues with swallowing, breathing, or other oral functions, as well as those with tongue-tie, malocclusion, crooked teeth, poor oral hygiene, or other related issues. Anyone looking to improve their oral health should consider having myofunctional therapy.