Everything You Need to Know About Myofunctional Therapy
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, chances are high that you must’ve come across a way to manage this condition known as myofunctional therapy. To begin with, sleep apnea is a condition that is characterized by muscle weakness within the mouth, tongue, as well as upper throat.
This in turn causes snoring. Besides sleep apnea, myofunctional therapy also helps correct the course of jaw and teeth development in children. So, let’s see what myofunctional therapy is and how it can help.
- What is Myofunctional Therapy?
A combination of various exercises that target facial muscles, myofunctional therapy specifically helps strengthen the tongue muscles. In addition to that, this therapy also targets the muscles of the oropharynx. Oropharynx is a tubular structure that plays a role in helping us talk, breathe, eat, and keeping the airway open.
When the muscles of the oropharynx are weak, it also contributes to sleep apnea. Myofunctional therapy is generally used for children in order to improve breathing thus improving the quality of sleep.
- What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
When children position their tongue in a way that it touches the back of the front teeth, exerting pressure, it can easily cause the teeth to reposition while developing and growing. Besides tongue, abnormal jaw and lip positioning also contribute to various dental problems. And in turn, these orofacial myofunctional disorders interfere with normal breastfeeding, chewing, talking, and swallowing. Orofacial myofunctional therapy helps combat these issues.
- How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?
When you visit a clinic for myofunctional therapy Toronto, you can expect a series of exercises involving your orofacial muscles. These exercises target these muscles to improve their functioning so as to normalize the resting position of your lips and tongue. Doing so, myofunctional therapy can even help get rid of habits such as thumb-sucking in children so that the teeth don’t misalign as they grow.
Some of the exercises that the myofunctional therapist may recommend are— pushing the tongue against the hard palate, touching the tip of the nose with the tongue, touching the bottom of the chin with the tongue, pushing the tongue left and right, among other exercises. These exercises are generally repeated several times so that the muscles are put into action to strengthen them. While these exercises may sound fun, they are established ways to tackle developmental issues pertaining to the jaws, lips, and teeth.
Most of these exercises involve the tongue, nose, chin, and palate. And while they might seem easy to perform at home (which they are), you will definitely need guidance and help from an experienced myofunctional therapist. Once you’re taught different exercises, you may be required to perform these exercises at the clinic so that the myofunctional therapist can help you understand how to correctly perform these exercises. And when you know how to, you can easily perform these exercises at home with ease. A myofunctional therapist will help you understand what muscles require to be targeted so as to improve the condition that you have, thus significantly enhancing the quality of your life.