myofunctiShoreviewonal THERAPist in Shoreview, MN

Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based treatment. We teach our patients exercises that relate to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing.

The goal is to teach awareness of the oral and facial muscles. I want the tongue to rest in the right place and the mouth to stay closed. When these two simple things happen, troublesome symptoms disappear and the big picture problems around braces, speech, jaw pain and sleep apnea become much easier to treat.

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The tongue is a major part of the airway, but it’s actually not the first thing we look at. This is a list of all the things we look at during a myofunctional therapy examination:

It is important to evaluate your specific symptoms and we create an individualized treatment plan for the best possible results. We work closely with other specialties such as ENT, orthodontists, and oral surgeons depending on what treatment you may need.

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4 Goals of Myofunctional Therapy

Nasal breathing: breathing through the nose is the way we are meant to breathe! Our nose filters, warms, and adds moisture to the air entering the lungs. Healthy nitric oxide (improves oxygenation) is also released into the body when we breathe through the nose

Proper lip seal: Our lips should rest naturally and comfortably together. When your mouth is closed, you sleep better at night and have a lower risk for cavities and gum disease.

Tongue posture: The tongue is meant to fill up the entire roof of the mouth. When it does, it provides an internal support structure for the upper jaw. If your tongue is in the right place, your teeth will grow in straighter and your face will develop properly. The tongue plays an amazing role in our facial appearance.

Swallowing pattern: If your tongue pushes forward when you swallow, you have a tongue thrust swallowing pattern. This makes you more likely to swallow small amounts of air when you eat and drink, and you may experience digestive issues such as acid reflux, stomach pain, gas, and bloating. A tongue thrust also creates orthodontic occlusion problems.

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How Therapy Works

We typically recommend a 12-session therapy program for most of the patients we see at our practice.

During therapy, you’ll work through a carefully structured program, with each session progressively building on the one before it. The program starts with improving oral and facial muscle strength, and then works through swallowing, eating, speech, tongue-tie or sleep apnea exercises, depending on your symptoms.

We start with a 60-minute in-office evaluation and exam. Then the 12-session therapy program usually last about eight to ten months.

The daily time commitment for your exercises is simple – five minutes, twice a day is all it takes!

During the 12-session program, you’ll learn exercises and techniques that will help you permanently change your oral myofunctional habits for the better.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about our myofunctional therapy programs, if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a 90-minute Full Evaluation, please feel free to contact us and schedule here.