myofunctional therapy

myofunctional therapyMyofunctional Therapy

Serving Choto, Northshore, and surrounding areas of Knoxville, TN

Thumb sucking. Tongue thrust. Airway issues. Myofunctional therapy in Knoxville can correct any of these orofacial issues and many more.

What is myofunctional therapy?

Also referred to as orofacial myology or orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT), it seeks to train the tongue, in combination with the muscles of the mouth and face to function properly. Myofunctional therapy also can focus on orofacial functions such as breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speech, as well as proper oral resting posture.

A typical course of myofunctional therapy lasts approximately six months. The exercises are simple to perform, and each regimen is comprised and administered by a Knoxville myofunctional therapist, a professional who has specialized training in the discipline. It is important to note that a certified myofunctional therapist such as the one on staff at Choto Family Dentistry in the Northshore area of Farragut should be the only healthcare professional to administer myofunctional therapy.

One main goal of myofunctional therapy is to restore an ideal oral resting posture, with the lower jaw forward, lips together, teeth together, and the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth. Being able to achieve this posture safeguards against a variety of negative orofacial behaviors, while also encouraging more shallow breathing through the nose, which is more beneficial overall.

Is myofunctional therapy right for me?

The following habits or behaviors can be corrected through myofunctional therapy:

  • Chewing with the mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Swallowing difficulty, or a facial grimace during swallowing
  • Low tongue rest position
  • Snoring
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrust
  • TMJ disorder
  • Airway issues
  • Sleep breathing disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea

There are a wide variety of conditions that can be treated with myofunctional therapy. It is important to seek the consult of an experienced dentist in Knoxville to determine if you or your loved one could benefit from this therapy.

Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy

Re-training the orofacial system has benefits to the oral health and overall health of individuals. For example, patients who breathe habitually through their mouth, especially when young, can develop “long face syndrome.” This occurs when the face and jaw grow vertically, rather than the preferred wider growth, which leads to wider dental arches and a larger airway. If your child breathes through their mouth often, correcting the behavior as soon as possible through a course of myofunctional therapy is crucial.

In the case of a sleep breathing disorder or certain negative oral habits, myofunctional therapy can be less invasive and more convenient than the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine or an oral appliance.

Myofunctional Therapy in Knoxville

If you would like to learn more about myofunctional therapy or how it may be of benefit to your or your child, please contact Choto Family Dentistry by calling (865) 409-5077 to schedule a consultation. If you have noticed any of these above-mentioned negative oral habits in yourself or your child, it is important to receive an evaluation as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the better.

Choto Family Dentistry is now serving clients in the areas of Choto, Northshore, and the surrounding communities of Knoxville.