A disorder of the myofunctional muscles can be frustrating or even worrisome. These are the muscles around the mouth and part of the tongue that assist in chewing, sucking, swallowing, speech and even breathing. Working with our staff at Northstar Dental, we can help determine the disorder and even help you train and strengthen these muscles with tips and guidance to alleviate these frustrations. We can help you have greater range and success with orofacial muscles.
Our mouths play an extremely important role in our day, from chewing, to breathing, even expressing emotion and allowing us speech; we use our mouths all day long. We can take for granted the function that the muscles in our mouth perform until we realize the extent of the work they provide. Therapeutic training of these muscles is the retraining of the muscles and how they work. In some situations, training is sufficient, in others, treatment may be required.
In addition to the muscles in our mouth, the muscles in the tongue can be diminished or improper. Our tongue provides more than just our taste buds. The tongue assists in our speech and how we form sounds. A condition sometimes referred to as a lazy tongue, the muscles need to be strong or we can suffer from a speech impediment. The tongue also helps us chew and move food around in our mouth toward swallowing.
Therapeutic Strengthening of the Myofunctional Muscles
When considering the muscles and strength that is needed or missing, we consider the following:
Myofunctional therapy includes the development of exercises for the muscles and tissue. We will want to strengthen the tongue and surrounding orofacial muscles through myofunctional therapy training. Therapy helps enhance the muscles that are there, making them stronger.
Other Intervention for Myofunctional Disorders
In addition to therapy, there may be some procedures and treatments that can help.
In some situations, we may find that the patient suffers from a tongue-tie, which is when the frenulum tissue restricts motion of the tongue. A frenuloplasty procedure is the cutting of that tissue to alleviate that restriction.
In some cases, muscle weakness may be due to a malocclusion, or jaw alignment issues. This may require correction through orthodontic treatment or orthognathic surgery including mandibular advancement.
For more information on orofacial myofunctional therapy, and proper function of these muscles, contact our Lakewood office at (303) 481-3901.