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Myofunctional Therapy: Your Orthodontist Can Help


Physical therapy is a common path to full functionality after an injury or surgery. Myofunctional orthodontic therapy works much the same way by training or retraining the soft tissue areas of the face, neck, and mouth. Glass Orthodontics in Chesapeake Va., shares some information about myofunctional therapy and orthodontics. 

Who benefits from myofunctional therapy?

Generally, children receive the most benefit from myofunctional therapy because the way the mouth suctions, masticates, swallows, and breathes are first determined in infancy. By addressing any problems, such as mouth breathing and tongue thrust early, many orofacial myofunctional disorders can be prevented or easily corrected. Other poor oral habits that can lead to growth and development issues include pacifier usage, leaning on the chin, thumb sucking, lip biting, poor posture, and drooling. 

It can also help adults who have experienced injury, tooth loss, or worsening of face, neck, and mouth conditions over time. Exercises that strengthen and extend the range of motion can help with swallowing problems, muscle weakness, and trouble speaking. It can also be a helpful alternative to a continuous positive pressure (CPAP) device for sleep apnea treatment.

What problems can myofunctional therapy help?

In addition to the issues already mentioned, myofunctional therapy can help in many other areas. 

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
  • Headaches
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heartburn
  • Neck pain

Possible effects of non-treated Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)

  • Speech impediments
  • Malocclusion
  • Retraction of orthodontic treatment 
  • Chewing problems
  • Stunted growth of the face
  • TMJ disorders
  • Breastfeeding issues
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Tooth movement

How can my orthodontist help?

Dr. Glass can help address orofacial myofunctional disorders to prevent problems from occurring and correct them once they have occurred. Braces are an investment in time and money. Without treating underlying conditions, teeth may shift again as soon as braces are removed. Dr. Glass can help determine if myofunctional therapy before braces can help or he can assist with therapy if problems emerge after braces removal. Therapy may even be beneficial while the braces are still on the teeth to teach proper habits or correct poor ones. 

In order for your Glass Orthodontics to provide the best help, it’s important to keep communication lines open. As soon as you notice potential myofunctional issues with your children or yourself, have a conversation with us about whether myofunctional orthodontic therapy may help. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact us at (757) 204-7770 or by using our convenient online scheduling tool


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