Have you ever stepped back for a moment and thought about the significant role that your tongue plays in your overall well-being? Indeed, you have thought of your taste buds since most of them are on your tongue. And, you’ve probably muttered a choice word or two if you have accidentally bitten your tongue while chewing. But beyond that, take a moment to consider your tongue’s importance. Your tongue plays a vital role in your ability to breathe, chew, and speak. So, if you are having trouble with any of those critical functions, chances are something isn’t quite right with your tongue. This is where myofunctional therapy might be able to help.
We know that you most likely have never heard of myofunctional therapy. That’s okay, and that’s where we can help. Myofunctional therapy is training that can improve your breathing, bite, and tongue posture to benefit your oral health. The training focuses on your neck, face, and the soft tissues in your mouth to help the tongue find its best position and posture for oral rest. People with orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) can benefit from this treatment, regardless of age.
Myofunctional therapy can help with the following health concerns:
The specific exercises used in this type of therapy will vary from patient to patient and is determined by age and the severity of OMD. The exercises aim to strengthen the oropharynx muscles (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth behind the oral cavity). When those muscles lack strength, air flow can be disrupted , leading to breathing issues and snoring. Further, if the tube collapses, it can lead to sleep apnea. To top it off, a weak tongue can fall back into the throat, creating a choking hazard.
If your doctor or dentist recommends myofunctional therapy, typical exercises will include the following.
If you or your child show the following signs of an OMD, seeking a professional to oversee and guide you on myofunctional therapy might be just what you need.
If you or someone you love is experiencing chewing, speaking, or breathing problems, the team at My Chico Dentist can help. There is a reason patients claim we are the best dental team, and we’d love the opportunity to show you why. Request an appointment with us today to discuss your potential OMD and the best path forward.