You know it is no joke to have jaw pain or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). Jaw pain can make it hard for you to focus on anything else, especially when every movement results in a dull or throbbing ache. So what can you do about it? And how can myofunctional therapy help?
What is myofunctional therapy?
Let’s start by explaining what myofunctional therapy is. After all, if you have never heard of it, you are probably scratching your head in wonder. Best explained, myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based treatment used for the muscles of your mouth, tongue, and face. These exercises were created to enable proper breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. When you can breathe better, chew and swallow properly, and speak easily, it often improves other ailments, such as:
- Orthodontic relapse
- Sleep apnea
- Upper airway resistance syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
- Teeth grinding
- Neck and other facial pains
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
These are just a few of the symptoms myofunctional therapy can help. Further, this course of treatment is both absolutely safe and completely noninvasive.
How exactly does this therapy work?
Myofunctional therapy is offered by health care professionals who are extensively trained in orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). Many dental professionals partake in this training to provide better treatment to their patients and identify symptoms of an OMD.
If you are diagnosed with OMD or are experiencing jaw problems, your dentist or myofunctional therapist can create an individualized program to help you retrain your facial muscle function. Typical training goals include:
- Normalizing proper posture for your tongue and lips at rest
- Establishing nasal breathing patterns
- Eliminating unbeneficial habits, such as nail biting
Through myofunctional therapy, you will experience increased awareness of your mouth, facial muscles, and jaw function. We will provide you with exercises to complete in the comfort of your own home, focusing on proper swallowing, breathing, and resting patterns. As you practice these positions and movements, you will experience improved muscle strength and reduced jaw pain.
As such, myofunctional therapy will improve symptoms of an OMD. You will be able to speak more clearly, eat more efficiently, and sleep more soundly. You may also experience positive cosmetic changes in your smile and facial structure. So if you have jaw pain or think myofunctional therapy could work for you, please let your dentist or medical professional know. Ada Smile Place’s certified myofunctional therapist can sit down with you and discuss the best treatment options for you.
What type of exercises do you do in myofunctional therapy?
Myofunctional exercises can help reduce jaw pain and improve sleep apnea, among other things. But what exactly are myofunctional therapy exercises, anyway? Take a look at some of the exercises below and give them a try. Repeat each one 10 times or as directed by your dentist or medical professional.
- Try to touch your nose with your tongue.
- Try to lick the bottom of your chin for 10 seconds.
- Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold for five seconds.
- Stick your tongue out to the left and hold for 10 seconds.
- Stick your tongue out to the right and hold for 10 seconds.
- Click your tongue against the roof of your mouth for 15 seconds.
- Fold your tongue in half lengthwise, stick it out, and hold for 10 seconds.
- Hold a spoon between your lips for 10 seconds.
- Push your tongue out straight and press it against a spoon for 10 seconds.
Let Ada Smile Place help you eliminate your jaw pain using myofunctional therapy.
If you live or work near Ada, Oklahoma, and are ready to find relief from your jaw pain, reach out to Ada Smile Place by calling our office or requesting an appointment online. Our team will be happy to answer any of your questions and help you establish a treatment plan, myofunctional therapy or otherwise, to help you get the relief you need.