Call: (306) 664-9994

Myofunctional Therapy

The connection between orofacial structural development – such as your jaw and facial
profile – and muscle motions begin early on in life. Chewing, swallowing, and nasal
breathing in infants and children stimulate how their bones grow and develop
physiologically. Habits and muscle patterns formed during our younger years eventually
spill over into our adult physiology. Such as the way we swallow, chew our food, and

What is an Oral Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are a group of disorders that affect the
function of oral and facial muscles. They can directly impact growth patterns, tooth
positioning, jaw joint performance, and other factors.
We often see OMDs related to issues such as speech impediments in children,
orthodontic needs, sleep disordered breathing, TMJ disorder, inability or challenges with
breastfeeding, and the shape of a person's facial profile (such as a small jaw). Mouth
breathing is a common warning sign. As the muscles rest and function atypically, it pulls
at facial structures differently, causing them to move differently when we chew, swallow
and breathe and this ultimately can affect the way we grow. The growth of our jaws and
tooth alignment is naturally guided by the forces from our tongue and lips, and when
these aren’t resting and functioning correctly, lead to an array of problems besides
orthodontic concerns.

What is Myofunctional Therapy (MFT)?

Myofunctional therapy (MFT) involves using exercises like physical therapy to help
promote proper oral function and posture and improve breathing. Through adaptation of
the facial muscles–including how we swallow and rest our tongue–we can establish a
healthier tooth and jaw alignment as individuals grow and develop, along with improved
jaw joint health, and even more sound sleep.
In many circumstances, MFT can reduce the need for orthodontic treatment.

Goals of myofunctional therapy include:
• Achieving proper tongue position during rest.
• Promote unobstructed nasal breathing.
• Promote appropriate swallowing patterns.
• Developing an appropriate lip seal. 
• Identify specific exercises as they relate to surgical frenectomies or tongue-tie treatments.
• Habit elimination such as thumb or digit sucking

How Does Breathing Impact Orofacial Function and Development?

A child's oral and facial structures are constantly changing. Mouth breathing can impact
our orofacial function by shifting growth patterns in a way that does not promote optimal
alignment for teeth, jaws, and muscles used throughout daily life, even in adulthood.
For example, mouth breathing can lead to open bite and crossbite issues. These
malocclusions (tooth misalignments) are often times seen in conjunction with other TMJ
pain symptoms like headaches, teeth grinding, and sleep apnea. Children who mouth
breath may develop smaller jaws than their peers due to inefficient growth patterns.
Myofunctional therapy benefits adults as well. Individuals that suffer from headaches,
gastroesophageal reflux disease, temporomandibular joint pain, neck pain, nail biting
and sleep disordered breathing including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may also
see improvements with MFT.