Myofunctional Therapy aims to fortify the tongue and orofacial muscles with targeted exercises and behavior modification. This therapy addresses various complications such as sleep disorders, breathing difficulties, improper posture, jaw pain, among others. By enhancing the muscular strength and mobility of the jaw, cheeks, lips, and tongue, individuals can experience improved functionality.
Myofunctional Therapy Defined
The objectives of Myofunctional Therapy encompass the strengthening of the tongue and surrounding orofacial muscles, utilizing specific exercises and retraining patterns. This therapy aims to rectify problems related to sleep, breathing, posture, and jaw discomfort, among other issues. By enhancing the muscular strength and flexibility of the jaw, cheeks, lips, and tongue, individuals can achieve better functional outcomes.
Proper tongue placement is crucial, as incorrect positioning may obstruct the airway. Various causes, such as habitual mouth breathing, can result in a low resting position of the tongue. This habit often causes the tongue to press against the teeth, which may lead to a condition known as tongue thrust, which is symptomatic of broader airway and breathing concerns. The forward motion of the tongue during swallowing interferes with its ideal resting position, necessitating the adoption of new habits and muscle retraining exercises to correct this.
Furthermore, a condition known as tongue tie can restrict the tongue's proper placement, potentially leading to snoring, teeth clenching or grinding, headaches, jaw pain, and mouth breathing. Tongue-tied individuals tend to breathe through their mouth and are shown to have a higher predisposition to sleep apnea and related airway complications. The central aim of Myofunctional Therapy is to normalize the resting posture and enhance the control, movement, and strength of the lips and tongue, which is essential for effective chewing, swallowing, and the maintenance of proper resting positions of the tongue and lips.