Who needs this and what is it going to fix? Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy focuses on the tongue and facial muscles, evaluating how they engage during function, such as swallowing. Not only is the function of these muscles crucial to facial development but how these muscles relax in a rest posture is just as important. During evaluation for clients the function of the tongue (tongue thrust), along with identifying any restriction (ankloglossia aka tongue tie) or hypotonia (low muscle control) of muscles around the face. Since my therapy is online, the client and I share a screen as we walk through the function of their tongue and facial muscles. Identifying what is healthy verses unhealthy function muscles posture and function. Educating my clients to understand what I am seeing as professional is very important.
Why does it matter if tongue pushes forward (aka tongue thrust) when I swallow? It has done this for years, I just want the orthodontist to straighten my teeth? This is very common in clients who are teens or adults getting braces for the second time, we call this orthodontic relapse. The orthodontist is a genius aligning teeth to create Hollywood smiles. Have you seen the before and after pictures? Braces move teeth slowly overtime to become straight. It is slow process, because if move quick the bone doesn’t have time to regrow and you get loose teeth. The braces are removed and as quickly as 1 year, teeth are relapsing!!! The improper swallow, tongue thrusting, does the same thing as braces. Tongue thrusting engages other muscles to create the swallow. Pressure from your tongue, cheeks, and lips place on your teeth will slowly overtime shift them back. Swallowing occurs from 600-800 times per day. That adds a lot of pressure to teeth.
What does tongue tie have to do with my swallowing? Our bodies are amazing and will compensate by engaging other muscles to take over when needed, like swallowing. There is a piece of tissue under the tongue that anchors bottom of your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Some people have shorter pieces then others, called tongue tie aka ankloglossia. As a dental hygienist for 18 years never did I identify ankloglossia like I do now. Why? Very obvious ones is what we were taught to identify. Like the picture here. However, many people have tongue restrictions and don’t know it. Please click here to learn more about ankloglossia.
Here are a few signs and symptoms in Adults need for Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy:
Forward Head Posture
Overbite, Open Bite, Overjet
Tongue between teeth or at bottom mouth
Headaches and Migraines
Allergies, Chronic congestion
Choking on liquids
Food trapping in mouth
Food texture, avoidance
Cavities, gum disease, halitosis
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is an exercise based program that strengthens and retrains specific muscles to function naturally. After an evaluation to determine your needs a therapy plan is implemented to get your best results. Contact me today for your FREE 30-minute Assessment! Online, for your convenience. Collaboration with other providers is key to your success!