OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy involves normalizing oral dysfunction through neuromuscular
reeducation of the oral and facial muscles. Therapy addresses restoring appropriate muscle function
and tone as it has a direct impact on speech, dentition, chewing, swallowing, proper tongue positioning
and nasal breathing.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders may involve abnormal tongue and lip resting posture, bruxism (teeth grinding, mouth breathing), oral habits such as nail biting and thumb sucking, atypical chewing, tongue thrusting while swallowing, lip incompetency and tethered oral tissues.
A primary goal of therapy is to establish a closed mouth lips-together, tongue to palate resting posture and nasal breathing. Breathing effortlessly and quietly through the nose are integral to the optimization
of craniofacial growth and muscle functions which support; continued nasal breathing, proper swallowing patterns, chewing, speaking, oral rest posture, body posture, and voice. When nasal breathing is obstructed or inefficient these functions often become impaired.
Recent research conducted at Stanford supports myofunctional therapy as an integral component of a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of breathing issues during sleep. Research has also shown that many children benefit from myofunctional therapy following adenoid and tonsillectomy.
Myofunctional therapy is also often an important part of orthodontic treatment to encourage optimal craniofacial development and prevent orthodontic relapse. Myofunctional therapy can help eliminate
muscle barriers that negatively impact proper dental occlusion.
Orofacial Myofunctional therapy is recognized as an effective treatment:
1. To improve breathing post tonsilloadenoidectomy
2. To improve symptoms of sleep disordered breathing
3. To improve symptoms of asthma
4. To improve lingual and labial range of motion and function following frenectomy
5. To stabilize occlusion post orthodontics
6. To improve swallowing function
7. To eliminate detrimental oral habits
8. To improve symptoms of tempero-mandibular dysfunction
9. To support craniofacial development
The following are signs and symptoms of orofacial myofunctional disorders:
Clavicular breathing where upper chest and shoulders move excessively
Open mouth posture
Lip licking/ dry chapped lips
Tongue thrusting when swallowing
Visible tongue at rest
Tethered Oral Tissues / Tongue Tie
Poor sleep /Snoring
Grinding/ Bruxism during the day or night
Poor posture /curved shoulders / forward head posture
Oral habits including thumbsucking/ Nail biting/ hair chewing/ fingers in mouth