Many adults grow up to have oral health issues such as an overbite, open bite, or other malocclusion. These issues begin developing in childhood and may worsen over time. A common culprit of malocclusions is poor posture of the tongue and other facial muscles. Your facial muscles are essential for breathing, eating, communicating, and expressing emotion. If they are not functioning or resting in the proper position, you might have issues related to your teeth, jaw, or even sinuses.
Fortunately, these issues can be corrected with myofunctional therapy, a treatment involving specific exercises to help you achieve correct oral posture. You can perform these exercises just about anywhere, including in the comfort of your own home.
The Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy
Myofunctional therapy is highly beneficial for adults looking to improve their oral posture.
Myofunctional therapy exercises are very easy to do, and can be done while you’re resting, watching TV, or doing chores. As long as you’re doing the exercises consistently, you should be able to see results within 6 months.
It’s Painless and Non-Invasive
One of the best things about myofunctional therapy is how simple and non-invasive it is. You don’t need to worry about wearing a cumbersome, uncomfortable appliance to do the exercises properly. All you need are your facial muscles and a few minutes out of each day.
It Makes Orthodontic Treatment Easier
With the aid of myofunctional therapy, your mouth can better accommodate a removable orthodontic device if such a device is needed to improve your teeth and bite.
It Can Improve Your Appearance
Another important benefit of myofunctional therapy is that it can improve your appearance. The changes may be subtle, but typically, improvement creates a lengthening of the facial structure and a more balanced and attractive appearance overall.
Understanding Correct and Incorrect Oral Rest Posture
Oral rest posture is the position of the tongue, lips, and other facial muscles when they are at rest. Below are the different indications of correct and incorrect oral rest posture.
Indications of Incorrect Oral Rest Posture
- Long, narrow face
- Tired, droopy eyes
- Narrow jaw
- Breathing through the mouth
- Low tongue posture
Indications of Correct Oral Rest Posture
- Facial symmetry
- Breathing through the nose
- Lips gently closed
- Tongue resting on roof of mouth
With orofacial myofunctional therapy, incorrect oral rest posture can be improved.
How Can Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Fix Oral Rest Posture?
A certified orofacial myologist can work with you to help you fix your oral rest posture. This involves guided neuromuscular exercises which are designed to retrain the lips, tongue, and other facial muscles into the correct resting and functioning positions. These exercises must be performed daily.
If your myofunctional therapy proves successful, you should see improvement in these areas:
- Facial appearance
- Dental occlusion (bite)
- Breathing patterns
- Gag reflex