Your tongue’s position when swallowing is an indication of your health. It impacts facial features, speaking, sleeping, pain in your head, neck, and shoulders. Fortunately, Marie McElderry has been trained to identify abnormal tongue position and can correct this with orofacial myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional Therapy is advanced training process that ensures a future of good health and a pleasing smile!
Myofunctional therapy uses exercises to reeducate the oral musculature patter. Increasing muscle tone around the mouth and facial areas to correct deviation of tongue or tongue thrust. A deviated swallow can be found in children and adults. Myofunctional therapy is a customized, individualized process that corrects and improves muscle tone for healthy swallowing.
What to Look For?
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, according to American Speech Language Hearing Association, the tongue protrudes amid swallowing, speaking, and even at rest. This affects the form and function of the mouth beyond appearance of tongue thrusting. Tongue position causes other problems, including:
Crooked Teeth/Orthodontic Relapse
Teeth Grinding or Clenching/Jaw Pain
Mouth Breathing/Enlarge Tonsils/Allergies
Bed Wetting/Restless Sleep/Wake to Potty
Lack Sex Drive
Growing out of it is no longer an acceptable answer. Often one or more of these symptoms are present and need Myofunctional Therapy to correct the swallowing disorder before the speech or orthodontia problems can be corrected.
Effects on Oral Health
Improper tongue position during swallowing contributes to malocclusion, overbite and overjet would be common. People with low muscle tone in their tongues are prone to tooth decay due to limited tongue movement to self-clean. Digestive problems caused by improper swallowing influences dietary choices and causes gastrointestinal issues affecting general health. Aeorphagia (swallowing air) adds to gastrointestinal complications. Avoiding certain foods due to texture unable to chew and swallow.
Myofunctional therapy improves symptoms of sleep apnea in children and adults. Recent studies reported by National Institute of Health (NIH) shows myofunctional therapy helps decrease sleep apnea by 50-60% in adults and kids. In adult’s data showed an increase in oxygen saturation with decrease in sleeplessness and snoring. (Evidence Base Research in next Blog)
How is it Done?
Myofunctional therapy (MFT) is performed by a professional who has undergone advanced training in this specialty. MFT is not part of dental or dental hygiene education. MFT is based on individual needs, increasing muscle tone of tongue and facial muscles, most importantly focusing on four goals.
Tongue Position at Rest
Ideal swallowing pattern uses facial muscles and tongue which lead to an increase in muscle strength and coordination. Results, proper tongue positioning, ideal pronunciations, and efficient digestion.
The muscles of the face and mouth are designed to work together in a collaborative effort. By recognizing an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder early, you can help overcome hurdles that prevent you from using your mouth properly.
How Does Therapy Work?
My clients are seen in the comfort of their mobile device. Using tele-health to reach anyone anywhere. I have seen clients in person and online, there is no difference in the program's ability to provide the best therapy available.