What is MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY?
Myofunctional orofacial therapy treats a variety of oral and facial (orofacial) muscle (myo-) postural and functional disorders and habitual patterns. An individualized regimen of exercises are used to correct tongue and lip resting postures as well as developing correct chewing and swallowing patterns through increasing awareness to the muscles in the mouth and face.
What are myofunctional disorders and how are they corrected?
Oral myofunctional disorders include various habitual patterns, functional activities and resting postures that alter the dental bite and functional range. Thrusting of the tongue during swallowing or speaking and a forward resting posture of the tongue characterize myofunctional disorders. The facial and mouth muscles are designed to work together in collaboration, affecting the ability to properly swallow, pronunciation, proper tooth position, and efficient digestion.
What causes orofacial myofunctional disorders?
All babies are born with tongue thrust, a low forward swallowing pattern; however, with normal development and growth the tongue lifts up against the palate or roof of the mouth. Habits such as prolonged thumb/finger sucking, nail/cheek biting, teeth clenching, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, sinusitis, asthma may contribute to an open-lip posture. Physiological or structural abnormalities such as macroglossia (abnormally large tongue), micrognathia (abnormally small jaw), and short lingual frenum (tongue-tie.) Developmental and neurological diagnoses that limit the patient's ability to achieve necessary muscle function. Only a qualified therapist is able to evaluate you or your child's candidacy for therapy.