Are you looking for an effective, noninvasive treatment for breathing and jaw problems like snoring, sleep apnea and TMJ? Then you might be a candidate for myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy utilizes your body’s natural mechanisms to reshape the bones of your face to help your jaw and airway work better.
Why Myofunctional Therapy Can Treat
Myofunctional therapy is a versatile treatment that can actually help with many common problems people have related to the function of their teeth and jaws. It can help improve:
- Difficulty breathing
- Mouth breathing
- Snoring, sleep apnea, and UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome)
- Difficulty biting and chewing
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders)
- Bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding)
- Speech difficulties
- Orthodontic problems and relapse
- Lips that don’t close over teeth
All of these conditions are related to the structure of your upper and lower jaw.
It’s easy for most people to understand how biting and chewing are related to the jaw, but it’s harder to understand why breathing is impacted. The lower jaw is the main bony support for the throat, so when it’s out of place, the throat may not be fully open, especially when we are asleep and gravity pulls it closed. And the roof of the mouth is also the floor of the sinuses. If the upper jaw isn’t developed enough, the airway through the nose is going to be restricted, contributing to mouth breathing.
Unlocking Your Body’s Potential
So, how can one treatment be effective at treating all these conditions without surgery? Simple: it utilizes our body’s natural development pathways, pathways that we should have activated during development, but didn’t. How? Through exercise. That’s right, we use exercise to reshape our bodies.
But, wait, you might be saying: I can’t reshape my body with exercise. No amount of exercise is going to make me taller.
That’s generally true, because most of us have reached the height we’re genetically programmed to be. We activated those developmental pathways and achieved our full height. But most of us didn’t fully activate the developmental pathways in our jaws. Why? There are many potential causes, but let’s focus on one example that’s easy to understand: diet.
Chewing stimulates our jaw muscles and our jaw development. The more we chew, the more our jaws will develop. However, these days we are eating more and more processed food. The softer texture of this processed food doesn’t require much chewing. Less chewing leads to less jaw development. In other words, we have unrealized potential development in our jaw, development that’s allowed for in our genes, but not achieved in our person. Each of us has the potential to develop a full jaw that fits all our teeth, perfectly straight, including our wisdom teeth.
And along with fitting all our teeth, our fully developed jaw creates space for open airways and allows for healthy chewing and other jaw functions. All it takes is a specific sequence of exercises that replicate the forces that stimulate proper development.
A Precise Sequence of Activities
You might be wondering: why can’t I just chew more now to stimulate the development of my jaws? It’s possible that could work, but it’s more likely that it wouldn’t. Once a sequence of development start, the body develops habits and accommodations to its current structure. For example, you might start chewing predominantly on one side, causing an imbalance between the two sides of the jaw. The more you chew, the more it promotes the imbalance.
To achieve the proper new development, you need a precise sequence of exercises that achieve the forces you need to reshape your jaw. Not only that, the exercises counteract bad habits and teach healthy habits that foster and maintain good development. Sometimes, these exercises may be supplemented by appliances that you wear during or between exercises.
Achieving the proper exercises is not easy, which is why we work with a certified orofacial myofunctional therapist (OMT) for your treatment.
Looking for Myofunctional Therapy in Columbus?
If you think myofunctional therapy might be right for you, we can help. Firouzian Dentistry has extensive experience with approaches that harness your natural development pathways, like Healthy Start and the DNA sleep appliance.