Myofunctional therapy is a type of therapy that involves retraining the muscles of the face and mouth to improve function. This can include improving breathing, swallowing, chewing, and speech. It is a form of exercise therapy that can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • TMJ Disorders (TMD)
  • Ankyloglossia/Tongue Tie
  • Sleep Apnea / Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
  • Snoring
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Speech problems
  • Facial pain

4 Goals of Myofunctional Therapy:

  • Nasal breathing - all day and night
  • Lip seal - all day and night
  • Correct tongue posture (tongue to spot) - all day and night
  • Correct swallowing pattern - all day and night

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are imbalances in the way the muscles and functions of your face and mouth work. This can involve:

  • Your tongue resting in the wrong position (pushing forward against your teeth)
  • Your tongue being anchored down by tissue (tongue tie)
  • Abnormal swallowing patterns (like a tongue thrust swallow)
  • Mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing

These imbalances can lead to a variety of problems, including:

  • Difficulty speaking clearly, especially with sounds like "s" or "z"
  • Improper tooth alignment or crowding
  • Facial pain
  • Open mouth posture
  • Drooling
  • Sleep problems

OMDs can develop in children due to habits like thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use, or they can be caused by structural abnormalities in the mouth or face. Adults can also develop OMDs, sometimes due to chronic mouth breathing or habits like tongue thrusting. OMDs do not improve on their own and require professional intervention and therapy.