Ever hear of myofunctional therapy? Myofunctional therapy is just one tool Dr. Konig uses to treat health conditions such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, sleep apnea and tooth grinding. It works by using a series of basic – yet specific – exercises that help to retrain the muscles of the mouth and tongue to overcome bad habits either caused by specific behaviors such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting or environmental factors such as poor posture and tooth grinding.
These exercises can also reduce tension and help reduce the impact of muscular dysfunction on the head, neck and jaws.
Why Myofunctional Therapy?
Why do we use myofunctional therapy? We use it to combat orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). These disorders negatively impact the functions and muscles of the mouth and face and can cause a range of side effects. OMDs include tongue ties, problems breastfeeding, restricted facial skeletal growth, chewing dysfunction, swallowing difficulty, bite malocclusion, temporomandibular joint disorders, oral hygiene problems, instability of orthodontic treatment or previous orthodontic treatment failure and mid-face facial growth issues.
Myofunctional therapy can also help to correct mouth breathing in individuals.
Basic Exercises With a Big Payoff
Myofunctional therapy is an ideal treatment for these conditions for many reasons. One of these reasons is that it is non-invasive. Not only does it mean no surgery, but it also means a reduced risk of complications. Why does this matter? Well, risks of infection, bleeding and scars can be stressful, and if you’re already living with stress caused by TMD or sleep apnea, you’ve got enough to worry about already.
Another benefit of myofunctional therapy is that it also eliminates the need for permanent appliances. While permanent appliances are rare for treating TMD, some people have serious structural issues that require fixed-in-place, permanent help. Myofunctional therapy can lower the need for a fixed, permanent appliance. Instead, patients can use myofunctional exercises and removable appliances to stay comfortable.
If you’re thinking about myofunctional therapy and whether it could benefit you, we encourage you to give us a call. Early intervention for children and adolescents is critical to helping reduce the risk of developing jaw issues and breathing problems later in life. For adults, it can help to overcome these conditions by breaking bad habits.
To determine if you are a candidate for myofunctional therapy, call our office at 713-668-2289 now to schedule a consultation.