Symptoms that indicate a myofunctional disorder
neck/shoulder pain and tension
What is Myofunctional therapy?
Myofunctional Therapy is the assessment and treatment of the muscles of the face and how improper use of the muscles impacts dentition, speech, chewing, and swallowing.
Myofunctional therapy helps to strengthen the muscles to work together properly so that they are balanced.
Muscle imbalance of the facial muscles can result in problems including jaw pain, poor digestion, nasal congestion, lisps, chronic ear infections, headaches, poor posture, and more.
Myofunctional therapy targets eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping better. The four main goals of therapy are:
1. Nasal breathing
2. Tongue in proper resting position
3. Mouth closed and lips sealed
4. Proper swallowing
This type of therapy is appropriate for adults and children. Children that have oral habits including thumb sucking or nail biting benefit from the help of myofunctional therapists to eliminate these habits. Children typically start this type of therapy beginning around age 5
What is Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie (also known as ankyloglossia), is a condition that restricts the tongue’s normal movement. A tongue tie develops in utero during normal development of the tongue and floor of mouth and is present from birth. The International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals has defined tongue tie as “an embryological remnant of tissue (lingual frenulum) in the midline between the under surface of the tongue and the floor of mouth that restricts normal tongue movement”. Note, the definition is deliberately broad and emphasizes function over appearance (2) . The frenulum should not be described as a tongue tie unless it restricts tongue movement and the restriction contributes to a functional problem (1) .
1. Flink A, Paludan A, Matsson L et al. (1994) International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 4: 67-73.
2. Marasco L (2014). International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 78: 573-576.