Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is based on a series of exercises that help patients learn to change bad habits. This improves tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing, which can have a huge impact on their overall health and well-being.

Myofunctional TherapyMyofunctional therapy is all about changing habits and strengthening muscles to improve the way we breathe, speak, chew and swallow. It’s possible to have life-changing results from a myofunctional therapy program, such as eliminating a mouth breathing habit or easing sleep apnea symptoms, but it’s worth bearing in mind that every patient is different. Some patients may experience jaw pain or suffer with mouth breathing, while others have been told they are tongue-tied or have a tongue- thrust.

Myofunctional Therapy is a type of treatment that looks at the way the tongue and oral muscles move and function. Some of the issues you may have may seem normal, because everyone else snores or breathes through their mouths. Even headaches, suffering from asthma and allergies, or ADHD have become more of the norm. However, just because many people chronically deal with these symptoms, it doesn’t make it normal. Dysfunction is never normal. What if you could teach your body, your mouth, and your tongue to work for you instead of against you? With myofunctional therapy, that is what we will work towards together!

Megan Van Noy
Megan Van NoyRDH, Myofunctional Therapist
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Megan Van Noy
Megan Van NoyRDH, Myofunctional Therapist
Schedule an Appointment

The 4 Goals of Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy programs focus on four main goals. If you are able to accomplish these four goals, it will lead to a healthier, happier version of you!

THE 4 GOALS ARE:

  1. Nasal breathing
  2. Lip seal
  3. Proper tongue posture
  4. Correct swallowing pattern

How do you measure up to these goals?

These things may seem easy, but my patients can attest, it’s not as easy as it sounds. All of my patients need to master these four goals as part of their therapy. The good news is that with a structured treatment program, it’s becomes easy because our bodies really want to functional optimally, and given the opportunity, they will.

Breaking the Habits

During childhood, many children experience issues with allergies, colds, and congestion making it almost impossible to breathing through the nose. If you are unable to breathe through your nose, you will have to breathe through your mouth. Eventually, this turns into an open mouth habit with a low resting tongue. Once this pattern becomes habitual, it can be there for life because the muscles of the face and tongue never learn to function correctly.

If we were to take a closer look at the tongue and where it rests in the mouth, often we won’t find in in the correct place in the top of the mouth. Instead, it will rest low in the floor of the mouth and pushes forward when swallowing against the teeth. This is known as a tongue thrust swallowing pattern. The tongue thrust then causes a loss of muscle tone in the muscles of the tongue leading to all kind of problems ranging from digestive issues to teeth movement. When the tongue rests low, the lips are also apart, which can in turn lead to serious health concerns like sleep apnea and ADHD, as well as dramatically changing the shape of the face.

How Long Do I Have to be in Therapy?

Just like physical therapy, some patients will need more exercises over a longer period of time, while others are fine with shorter treatment programs. There’s a perception out there that all myofunctional therapy programs are a year-long, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that many patients get amazing results from fewer sessions. It all depends on the individual patient’s presentation and symptoms. For example, a seven-year-old girl with a thumb-sucking habit will require a vastly different treatment plan than a 36-year-old male who has been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Which is why I offer a variety of myofunctional therapy treatment plans ranging in price and duration, all of which are tailored specifically to your unique needs. To learn more about my programs (click here).

I’d be happy to have a chat if you’d like to find out more, so please feel free to get in touch right here.

Patient Testimonial

“Since being diagnosed with TMJD, I have struggled with pain for nearly 13 years. The last 3 years I have devoted to finding relief so that I can be the wife and mother that my husband and children deserve. After careful consideration and with the recommendation of my TMJ specialist, I found Megan Van Noy. After seeing countless dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and doctors, I finally can say I have more pain free days than days filled with pain. I can expect several years of treatment with my TMJ specialist to get the expansion of my palates with the A.L.F. appliances, and hopefully the correct bite to give me further relief, but Myofunctional Therapy has been a true blessing to me. I highly recommend Megan as she was a joy to work with. Myofunctional Therapy truly works, even if the exercises may seem silly or non-effective, stick with it, because they work! I can now say with confidence that I have a better range of motion with my tongue, I no longer have a tongue thrust, I rest my tongue on the upper palate comfortably and I am breathing through my nose primarily and also swallowing properly with the tongue on the spot! Megan is very knowledgeable and dedicated to her patients and I know, without a doubt, that she cares so much about the success of her patients with their Myofunctional Therapy.” – Tonya W. 

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