How a Myofunctional Therapist can help you live a Better Life

myofunctional therapist

myofunctional therapistServing Choto, Northshore, and surrounding areas of Knoxville, TN

As dental science continues to evolve, dentists operating at the forefront of their field are offering new services. Myofunctional therapy is a great example. This method of treatment works the muscles of the face, mouth, and tongue helping to correct functional issues in the orofacial system that may be impacting the way a person eats, breathes, and speaks. You may have some questions about myofunctional therapy, and if it is right for you. Read on to learn more about how myofunctional therapy in Knoxville may benefit you or someone you love.

A myofunctional therapist may be helpful in the following cases:

  • Breastfeeding difficulties If you are pregnant or a new mother, you probably have been told about the benefits of breastfeeding. It provides more nutrients to your baby, while also strengthening their immune system. Breastfeeding also is crucial to encouraging the optimum development and function of the structures of the mouth and face. However, infants often experience difficulties when breastfeeding. They may have problems sucking or maintaining a latch. They may feed too frequently, exhibit a failure to thrive or have problems bonding with the mother. All of these behaviors can be symptoms of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD), which refers to abnormal posture when the mouth and tongue are at rest, during breathing, or while eating. A myofunctional therapist may be able to work with the breastfeeding mother, and infant, to develop proper latch.
  • Negative oral habits Is your child still sucking their finger, thumb, or pacifier? Many children have this habit when they are very young but if it persists into school-age years, it may have consequences: hindering facial growth, changing the position of teeth, causing an OMD to develop, or leading to a speech impediment. Myofunctional therapy strengthens the orofacial muscles to compensate and create greater balance in breathing, chewing, and swallowing while helping to curtail these habits.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder Often referred to as TMJ disorder, this ailment refers to any problem that impacts the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaws to the skull. People suffering from TMJ disorder often experience pain—usually severe enough to be debilitating—that could manifest in the jaws, teeth, face, head, neck, or even the shoulders and back. Here is a list of TMJ disorder symptoms. Myofunctional therapy can help a patient suffering from this disorder by re-training the orofacial muscles to improve function and balance, potentially alleviating whatever is stressing the temporomandibular joint. 
  • Sleep apnea A person with sleep apnea experiences an obstruction in the upper airway when they lay down to sleep. These obstructions either impede airflow or stop breathing completely, disrupting the sleep cycle, lowering oxygen levels, and being altogether bad for your health. Myofunctional therapy can train the orofacial muscles to rest properly, holding the lower jaw in proper placement, and thus making the airway wider.

When is myofunctional therapy the right choice?

If someone is experiencing mouth breathing, or difficulties chewing, sucking, swallowing, or speaking, they probably will benefit from this method of therapy. Likewise, if you are experiencing any issue with your oral resting posture—referring to the position of your teeth, lips, and tongue when you are not eating or talking—myofunctional therapy can help. Each patient is unique, but a course of myofunctional therapy usually lasts about six months to curtail poor oral habits.

Myofunctional therapy in Knoxville

At Choto Family Dentistry, we offer myofunctional therapy to help patients suffering from any of the above problems. Our staff includes an experienced myofunctional therapist who has completed specialized training. To learn more about myofunctional therapy and how it could benefit you or a member of your family, call our office at (865) 269-6688 or schedule a consultation.

Choto Family Dentistry is proud to serve clients in Knoxville, as well as the communities of Choto and Northshore.