Myofunctional Therapy – Tulsa, OK

The First Step to a Healthier Future

Smiling child holding myofunctional therapy oral appliance

Myofunctional therapy is a service that is designed to help patients learn how to properly use their tongue, mouth, and throat muscles after they have undergone airway treatment or a frenectomy. Essentially, it is a form of physical therapy for the oral structures. In practice, myofunctional therapy with our Tulsa, OK, dentist involves doing a few simple exercises each day so you can form new, healthy habits that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

What Causes Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Young boy in blue shirt sucking his thumb

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) can be caused by many different factors. For example, they often develop as the result of a lip or tongue tie, which limits movement of the oral structures and prevents them from being used properly. As a result, issues with breathing and swallowing can result. Certain bad habits, such as prolonged thumb sucking, can also contribute to the development of OMDs.

No matter the cause of the OMD that you (or your child) are experiencing, myofunctional therapy, paired with other treatments, may be able to restore optimal function of the mouth and upper airway.

Do I Need Myofunctional Therapy?

Concerned man in white t-shirt covering his mouth

Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for myofunctional therapy:

  • Your mouth tends to stay open when it is in a resting position.
  • You recently underwent a frenectomy to treat a lip or tongue tie.
  • Dental abnormalities, such as an overbite or underbite, are affecting the way you use your oral structures.
  • Your tongue rests in an abnormal position. For example, it may continually push against the back of your teeth.
  • You have an interdental lisp.
  • You engaged in prolonged thumb- or pacifier- sucking as a child.
  • You find it difficult to swallow correctly.

Our team can assess you for orofacial myofunctional disorders and recommend a personalized treatment plan.

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?

Woman with fist under her chin, performing mouth exercise

Myofunctional therapy is usually part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It is often used in conjunction with orthodontia, bite corrections, and/or lip and tongue tie treatment. Once anatomical abnormalities that contribute to OMDs have been corrected, myofunctional therapy can help you to learn how to use your oral structures in the best way.

Myofunctional therapy involves the use of targeted exercises that strengthen and train the orofacial muscles. In addition to attending sessions in our office, you should also perform exercises at home as instructed. Just like any exercise program, myofunctional therapy can cause some mild discomfort, but the end results are well worth it!

After a successful course of myofunctional therapy, you can expect to experience numerous benefits. For example, the quality of your sleep may improve, and you may be at a lower risk of dental problems. You might even notice that there are aesthetic improvements to your face!