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Myofunctional Therapy

Revitalizing Health

MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY & TONGUE-TIE

Myofunctional Therapy is an integrated part of what we do as we retrain the tongue muscles to function properly. We are bringing our expertise to both adults and children. If your child is suffering with ADD/ADHD, snoring, bed wetting, restless sleep, grinding teeth, or interrupted breathing, we are here to help. Making the proper diagnosis is the key to creating the appropriate treatment to help you and your child achieve optimal health.

Myofunctional Therapy is the treatment of orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs), which affect the function and muscles of your face, mouth, and neck and can affect anyone – from infants to elderly. Those who participate in Myofunctional Therapy get incredible results and benefits from it – including decreased pain, improved function, and increased comfort, so it’s easier to eat, speak, breathe, and sleep. The relief you receive from the therapy can be life-changing.

Enhancing Airway Health

Early Intervention for Lifelong Wellness

We are dedicated to screening for, increasing awareness of, and treating Airway and Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders in both adults and children. We specialize in improving health by providing individualized therapy for mouth breathing, tongue thrust, tongue tie, sleep apnea and more.

Learning to breathe and use the tongue properly is the key to airway development. Training at an early age can reduce or eliminate the need for more extensive procedures later in life. These include orthodontics, sleep apnea, GERD, heart disease, etc. Beginning with a comprehensive evaluation, our therapy programs work toward improving oral and facial muscle strength, swallowing, eating, breathing, tongue-tie and sleep apnea.

Pediatric Sleep Solutions

Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children

Did you know that sleep apnea in children is actually quite common and has been linked to a number of conditions including ADD, reduced IQ, developmental issues, and can even stunt a child’s growth?

Our goal is to promote the proper growth and development of the jaw and airway to optimize airflow and promote proper nasal breathing while straightening your child’s teeth. As these areas develop many of the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing disappear. When kids can breathe properly, they can begin to learn, grow, and blossom into their true genetic potential…just as nature intended.

A newly recognized and effective way to address and treat sleep apnea is Myofunctional Therapy – the type of therapy we offer at our dental office in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Myofunctional Therapy

Our Process

Evaluation

We perform a thorough assessment of signs and symptoms you are experiencing as well as review past history to create a full picture of each patient’s needs.

Diagnose

Individualized treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s specific needs based on the evaluation process.

Treatment Plan

Our Myofunctional Therapist, Mikinlee Stevens, RDH, typically recommends a 12-session therapy program. For more complex cases a longer-term approach may be necessary.

Therapy

We will work through a carefully structured program, with each session building on the one before it, focused on bringing true functionality to the orofacial complex.

Tongue Posture

Oral Rest Posture refers to the position of the tongue and lips when resting and not in use. When Oral Rest Posture is correct, it leads to proper development of the jaws, lips, sinus cavities and muscle structure. When Oral Rest Posture is incorrect, it can lead to crooked teeth, tongue thrust, mouth breathing, speech problems and poorly developed jaws.

A tongue thrust is one of the most obvious signs you may need Myofunctional Therapy. A tongue thrust is when the tongue pushes forward or out to the side during a swallow. The most problematic aspect of this condition is where the tongue rests in the mouth. If someone has a tongue thrust their Oral Rest Posture is incorrect – the tip of the tongue rests against or between the front teeth and the tongue sits low in the mouth. With correct Oral Rest Posture our tongue should rest in the top of the mouth and provide and internal support system for the upper jaw and TMJ.

It is important to realize that a tongue thrust is only a symptom. It
can be an indicator of other health problems affecting the airway and breathing. When this kind of swallowing pattern is present, it is very likely that mouth breathing and an open mouth posture will also be found. Dr. Thornton will work closely with you to diagnose the cause of your tongue posture and tongue thrust issues and use Myofunctional Therapy techniques to remedy them.

Understanding and Treating Mouth Breathing

Our bodies are made to breathe through our nose, but many things can cause us to breathe through our mouth including: habit, allergies, large tonsils, chronic congestion, asthma or a deviated septum. Each of these factors can make it physically impossible to breathe through our nose! Breathing through our mouth can have many detrimental effects on our mouth and body.

It can change the way the tongue works and where it rests.

It can change the shape of your face and alter your appearance creating a long narrow face, less defined cheekbones, small lower jaws and weak chins. It can also create a gummy smile and crooked teeth, sore throat, frequent colds, bad breath, poor sleep, snoring, and even digestive problems. Mouth breathing is now being linked to poor growth in children and also ADHD. It can lead to postural changes and spinal issues because when the tongue is in the wrong position, the head rests forward, causing the shoulders to round forward and slump. It creates poor oxygenation of the blood contributing to high blood pressure, heart problems and sleep apnea.

Mouth breathing affects the position of our teeth and our bite, it creates weak lip with no external support for the teeth while the cheeks press in contributing to a narrow, constricted arch. This can cause problems with orthodontic treatment, making it more difficult to move the teeth into ideal position and also making relapse much for likely after braces are removed.
Unfortunately, the solution is not always as easy as just closing our mouths. Doing Myofunctional Therapy with us at Robert H. Thornton, DMD (often in conjunction with an airway screening by an ENT) can help to retrain a lifetime of habitually breathing incorrectly, improving both health and quality of life. And if begun early, it can help to prevent many of these problems from ever occurring in children.

Understanding and Treating Mouth Breathing

Our bodies are made to breathe through our nose, but many things can cause us to breathe through our mouth including: habit, allergies, large tonsils, chronic congestion, asthma or a deviated septum. Each of these factors can make it physically impossible to breathe through our nose! Breathing through our mouth can have many detrimental effects on our mouth and body.

It can change the way the tongue works and where it rests.

It can change the shape of your face and alter your appearance creating a long narrow face, less defined cheekbones, small lower jaws and weak chins. It can also create a gummy smile and crooked teeth, sore throat, frequent colds, bad breath, poor sleep, snoring, and even digestive problems. Mouth breathing is now being linked to poor growth in children and also ADHD. It can lead to postural changes and spinal issues because when the tongue is in the wrong position, the head rests forward, causing the shoulders to round forward and slump. It creates poor oxygenation of the blood contributing to high blood pressure, heart problems and sleep apnea.

Mouth breathing affects the position of our teeth and our bite, it creates weak lip with no external support for the teeth while the cheeks press in contributing to a narrow, constricted arch. This can cause problems with orthodontic treatment, making it more difficult to move the teeth into ideal position and also making relapse much for likely after braces are removed.
Unfortunately, the solution is not always as easy as just closing our mouths. Doing Myofunctional Therapy with us at Robert H. Thornton, DMD (often in conjunction with an airway screening by an ENT) can help to retrain a lifetime of habitually breathing incorrectly, improving both health and quality of life. And if begun early, it can help to prevent many of these problems from ever occurring in children.

Contact Us Today!

We are honored to be Tupelo’s trusted resource for Myofunctional Therapy. We are ready to help you find renewed energy and health. We invite you to contact the office to schedule a consultation. Your journey to better dental health for you or your loved one starts here!

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