What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist?
When you hear the word myofunctional, it relates to our muscles and how they function. It only makes sense that an orofacial myofunctional therapist is a trained professional who treats the muscle functions of the face. These muscles would be considered the muscles below your eyes and above your shoulders. The myofunctional therapist is specifically trained to be able to recognize, assess, and treat orofacial myofunctional disorders. They work on strengthening muscles, proper rest posture, correcting suctioning, and swallowing dysfunction with a concentration on nasal breathing. Since the body has many parts that are interconnected, the orofacial myofunctional therapist will most times collaborate with your other healthcare providers to make sure all the parts of the puzzle are addressed as needed.
Why are these orofacial muscles important?There is a saying coined by architect Louis H. Sullivan in the late 1800s that states " Form follows function". Believe it or not, this holds true with our mouths as well. From the time we are in utero, our tongue begins shaping the structure of our jaws and nasal airways. By the time we reach the ages of 4-6 50-65% of our cranial growth is actually completed! If we think about it, the back of our tongues is actually the front of our airways and the roof of our mouths is actually the bottom or floor of our nasal cavities. If the tongue isn't functioning and resting in the correct position, which is the roof of our mouths, our development can be adversely affected from the very beginning. So if it is true that form follows function, that really gives our tongue the very important job of being the architect of our mouths and airway from the beginning of our lives.
It may be hard to believe, but orofacial myofunctional therapy has actually been around for more than 100 years. Although it has always been important, it hasn't been until recently, through years of research and education, that the medical and dental communities began to incorporate the importance of airway health into their practices. Why is airway health so important? Think of things this way; A person can go 3 entire days without food, 3 entire days without water however, the human body cannot go 3 minutes without oxygen. Nothing is more important than breathing and oxygen.
Why have I never heard of this before?
What are the benefits of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy with MyoAir?
Here at MyoAir, we take pride in helping our patients by assessing any dysfunction and developing the very best treatment plans based on our patient's individualized needs. Our therapists will use neuromuscular exercises to retrain the lips, tongue, and facial muscles, teaching them correct oral rest posture and helping to create optimal nasal breathing. We work hand in hand collaborating with your other healthcare providers to develop the best treatment for all your needs. Call or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We offer telehealth services as well.
Correcting Oral Rest Posture and function can improve:
- Facial appearance
- Dental occlusion
- Lip competence
- Tongue thrust swallow
- Nasal breathing