What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Have you ever experienced the following symptoms?

TMD TMJ Signs and Symptoms Attune Massage Therapy


What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

  • Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is the neurological re-education exercises of the muscles around the airway, including the tongue, face and mouth.
  • The therapy helps the patients in toning and strengthening of these muscles around the head and neck region to be able to use them to its optimum potential and achieve essential functions like those of breathing and swallowing.
  • Research has even found that Myofunctional Therapy may be highly effective in the treatment for sleep disordered breathing. Sleep disordered is a group of sleep conditions that cause a reduction in airflow through your upper airways. It includes heavy snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Myofunctional Therapy can also act in improving Facial Aesthetics by improving Breathing, Facial Growth, Oral Habits, Swallowing and Posture.
  • Effects of Poor Oral Habits like those of Mouth Breathing, Thumb Sucking, Nail biting etc in early childhood can translate into the behaviors later in life. By training the muscles to function in their optimum biological way, we create a muscle memory in the brain which can help grow the jaw and face in a proper direction, help us breathe well, sleep well and also get a naturally well aligned teeth and posture.

What are Oro-facial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)?

  • Patterns involving oral and orofacial muscles that interferes with normal growth, development or function of orofacial structures.
    OMDs can be found in Infants, Children, Adolescents and Adults.
  • OMDs can co-occur with a variety of speech and swallowing disorders. OMD may reflect the interplay of learned behaviors, physical/structural variables, genetic and environmental factors.

Some common Manifestations of OMD


⦁ Mouth Breathing, Frequent allergies, sinus congestion, rhinorrhea, chronic allergic rhinitis, epiphora, adeno-tonsilitis, respiratory obstruction due to poor tongue posture, bronchial asthma etc.

⦁ Restlessness, snoring, sleep apnea, sleep talking/walking, frequent nightmares, bedwetting beyond potty training age, frequent night awakenings, teeth grinding(bruxism), open mouth posture, Hyperactivity, poor memory, learning disabilities etc.

⦁ Bad Breath(halitosis), swelling in gums(gingivitis), Cavities, Crooked teeth, loose teeth, Severe gag reflex, Dryness of mouth, Burning sensation in the mouth etc

⦁ Poor facial development and poor jaw growth
Head and Neck

⦁ Frequent headaches, Migraines, shoulder-ache, neck-ache, back-ache, jaw joint pain, clicking in the jaw joint

⦁ Poor coordination of suck-swallow-breathe in babies, Gassy/colicky baby, frequent spit ups, nipple pain in mothers etc

⦁ Improper posture with head tilted upwards or downwards, bent spine, slumping of shoulders
Chewing and Swallowing

⦁ Picky eating, Messy eater, Pouching /pocketing food etc.

⦁ Frequent Allergies, Obesity, Digestive issues, Cardiac issues, Metabolic disorders like Diabetes, skin disorders etc.

What causes OMDs?

⦁ Nasal airway interference : enlarged adenoids and tonsils, deviated nasal septum, turbinates hypertrophy, frequent allergies leading to blocked nose and anything that would lead to mouth breathing
⦁ Oral Habits : Mouth Breathing, Thumb sucking, extended pacifier and bottle use
⦁ Oral Restrictions : Tongue Ties, Lip Ties
⦁ Genetic defects : Cleft lip/palate, Craniofacial syndromic patients
⦁ Diet : Some research has suggested that refined sugars and high processed foods have caused underdeveloped craniofacial structures.

Goals of Myofunctional Therapy?

  • Continuous Nasal Breathing
  • Lips sealed at Rest
  • Proper Tongue Position (At the Roof of the Mouth) and Oral Rest posture
  • Correct chewing and swallowing
  • Strengthen muscles of the Oro-facial Region
  • Pre and Post Operative Therapy support to aid in optimal function

Myofunctional Therapy at Oraface Dental Hospital

Dr Prachi Suman provides Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy at Oraface Dental Hospital. She is trained by Sarah Hornsby at Myomentor.

** Dr Prachi and her team is grateful to provide both online and offline support for Myofunctional Therapy for patients suffering from Airway Issues, Sleep Disordered Breathing, Sleep Apnea, Tongue-Tie GLOBALLY.(MyoMentor Graduate, Breathe Institute LA)

Myofunctional Therapy for Tongue-Tie Release

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is extremely important before and after a Tongue-Tie release procedure for achieving a successful outcome and optimal function. The therapy is all about re-educating, strengthening and toning the muscles of the tongue. Pre-operatively it helps in preparing the tongue to undergo the release procedure easily and Post operatively, comprehensive set of exercises helps in achieving all the above mentioned goals with the new Tongue Range of Motion which is achieved after the release.

This minimizes the chances of any post-operative complications like Re-attachment and the need for 2nd surgery.

Please Note : Myofunctional Therapy is extremely personalized based on the patient’s needs. After a thorough evaluation, Dr Suman designs a custom plan for every patient based on their orofacial dysfunctions, compensations and anatomic profile. There is no one plan for all and the exercises can be modified depending upon the patient’s needs at each step.

  • This is why Myofunctional Therapy should only be performed by a Certified and Experienced Professional trained in the field of Myofunctional Therapy, Pediatric Dentistry and Sleep Dentistry.

Myofunctional Therapy is often combined with Breath Re-Training

As mentioned before, Breathing is the most important thing we do! Orofacial Muscles in a lot of ways are related to our airway. Hence, the ultimate Goal of Myofunctional Therapy is to establish

⦁ Nasal Breathing along with
⦁ Correct Tongue Posture all times at rest, ie, the entire Tongue on the Roof of mouth)
⦁ Lips closed and
⦁ A slow diaphragmatic breathing

Nasal Breathing has innumerous benefits. It helps in purifying, humidifying and warming the air that we breathe in to our lungs which helps the blood to absorb more usable oxygen.

Over the years of Research, we have realized that All of the benefits of Nasal Breathing can only be achieved to its full potential when it is paired up with optimal oral rest posture.

Some of the many benefits of combining Myofunctional Therapy with Breath Re-training :

⦁ Better Sleep
⦁ Alleviates problem of frequent cough, cold or allergies
⦁ Mood stability
⦁ Naturally aligned Teeth
⦁ Better Facial Symmetry
⦁ Optimised Swallowing and Chewing function
⦁ Increased head turning range of motion
⦁ Alleviates Pain
⦁ Optimizes Posture

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