What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based therapy for the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and face. The exercises are designed specifically to train proper breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing.

Myofunctional therapy treats Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs), which are atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge in the absence of normalized patterns. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can often result in a variety of disturbances.

Examples of OMDs include one or a combination of the following:

  • Thumb and finger sucking habits
  • A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
  • A forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
  • Tongue thrust

How long does therapy take?

Just like every patient is different, every myofunctional therapy treatment plan is different! Therapy starts with a 10- to 12-week program with prescribed exercises each week. Forming new habits can be difficult, but the exercises are fun and easy–just wait until you see the rainbow myo room filled with snacks!

The four main goals of myofunctional therapy are:

#1: Nasal breathing–all day and all night

#2: Lips sealed–all day and all night

#3: Tongue resting on the roof of your mouth–all day and all night

#4: Proper swallowing–all day and all night

One benchmark of myofunctional therapy is proper breathing. Better breathing will improve so many areas of your life–sleep, memory, and exercise included. Myofunctional therapy is a 100% safe, non-surgical treatment designed to help you be a better version of yourself. There are no downsides to breathing better and swallowing properly!

Research on myofunctional therapy

Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). It has also been shown to prevent relapse of sleep apnea after surgical treatment. In addition, myofunctional therapy exercises play a critically important role in recovery after lingual frenectomies and to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment.