Apr 25, 2017

Introduction to Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy teaches a patient how to use the proper POSTURE and FUNCTION of muscles in the face and mouth. Improper posture and function of these muscles can affect breathing, breast feeding, proper growth and development of the face and jaws, chewing, swallowing, crooked teeth, speech, bite, snoring, sleep, jaw joint movement and function (TMJ), stability of orthodontic treatment, gum disease, and more.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are extremely prevalent in the United States and throughout the world, especially industrialized countries. They often impact treatments by orthodontists, dentists, dental hygienists, speech pathologists, osteopaths, and other healthcare providers in the head and neck area. The myofunctional therapist may work closely with these professionals in a team approach for best results, as STRUCTURE, POSTURE, and FUNCTION all must synch together in harmony for the health of the patient.

  • A person normally swallows 500 to 1000 times each day, so improper swallowing FUNCTION can cause a variety of problems.

  • Yet the resting POSTURE of the tongue is what causes the most damage because it is constant, and because bone and muscles will change according to your posture. POSTURE of the lips is also extremely important.

  • The STRUCTURE of the mouth and airway must allow for proper posture and function – for instance a tongue tie, lip tie, narrow airway, or narrow palate may not allow proper posture or function to occur.

Five major tenets of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy are:

  1. Oral habits such as thumb sucking, finger sucking, and nail biting should be eliminated

  2. Your lips should always be together except for eating and speaking

  3. You should breathe through your nose

  4. Your tongue should always rest on your palate (roof of your mouth)

  5. You should swallow correctly (most people today do not)

Orofacial myofunctional therapy consists of an exam to determine your needs. Then a series of exercises is recommended to help the muscles of the face function properly. These exercises are easy and recommended to be done every day until proper muscle function is achieved. This takes commitment by the patient, their family, and the therapist – and it takes time. A 6 to 12 month period of treatment is usually recommended, though this may vary. The reward is a lifetime of better health.

Joy Moeller has been a teacher, speaker, and therapist in the discipline of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy for over 35 years. In this series of videos, Joy will tell you some of the benefits of this therapy for your patients.


Introduction to Myofunctional Therapy

Runtime: 6 minutes, 20 seconds


Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mild to Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
Research has shown that orofacial myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. As the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face are postured correctly and functioning properly, this can reduce obstruction to the airway.

Runtime: 5 minutes, 48 seconds


Temporomandibular Joint Function (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint function may be significantly improved through Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy.
Run Time: 1 minute 24 seconds


Facial Esthetics can be improved through toning the muscles of the cheeks and neck.
Run Time: 0 minutes 54 seconds


Nutrition and Posture are also improved.
Run Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds


What is Orofacial Myology?

Run Time: 10 minutes 42 seconds

Joy Moeller, Certified Orofacial Myologist,talks about the use of exercises for the proper positioning of the tongue, jaw, and neck to address problems of proper breathing, facial structure and function, orthodontics, sleep apnea, and many other related health concerns. The service discussed in this video was the biggest surprise of all the videos we did this year in its importance to the overall health of our patients.

If you have any of these problems, this video is for you.