Myofunctional Therapy

Formerly referred to as "Tongue Thrust" Therapy, myofunctional therapy encompasses so much more. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are atypical patterns of the muscles of the face and mouth which affect normal growth and development, or function related to breathing, swallowing, and/or speaking. Children, adolescents, and adults may be affected.

Signs & Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty coordinating suck-swallow-breathe as a baby

  • Open-mouth, lips apart rest posture

  • Frenum restrictions (tongue-tie, lip-tie, buccal-tie)

  • Abnormal tongue rest posture between or against the teeth

  • Immature, tongue thrust swallow pattern

  • Improper alignment of the teeth

  • Improper jaw growth

  • Drooling, past the age of 2

  • Messy or loud eating

  • Distortion of /s, z/ sounds (frontal or lateral lisp)

  • Non-nutritive sucking habits (pacifier, finger, thumb), beyond 12 months of age

 

At this time, there is no known single cause. OMDs may be caused by several factors, such as:

  • Blocked nasal passages due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, chronic allergies

  • Improper or prolonged sucking/chewing habits (pacifier, finger/thumb, nail biting)

  • Muscular or structural differences, such as ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), which prevents the tongue from resting in the correct location

 

All ages may benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy. Children as young as 3 years of age can successfully eliminate prolonged sucking habits, increase nasal breathing, reduce drooling and increase speech articulation. A unique program to eliminate tongue thrust and further promote nasal breathing and use of the correct rest posture is beneficial to children (as early as 8 years of age), teenagers and adults. Therapy consists of weekly treatments and associated homework taking 10-20 minutes per day.

 

Goals of orofacial myofunctional therapy include:

  • Establish nasal breathing

  • Eliminate harmful oral habits

  • Correct and normalize oral rest posture

  • Reduce jaw pain

  • Improve oral muscle function

  • Correct swallow posture

  • Reduce the potential for orthodontic relapse

  • Eliminate the need for tongue blocking or avoidance appliances

  • Minimize scarring and maximize function if ties are present and release is indicated

  • Improve speech articulation, if affected

Melissa's practice, located in Laguna Niguel, California, is dedicated to helping orthodontic and surgical patients from Orange, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties. 

Melissa Beck, MA, CCC-SLP is an out of network provider. She does not accept insurance but is happy to provide a super bill that you may submit for potential reimbursement.

To request an assessment for you or your child, click the button below and please complete the intake form.

30131 Town Center Drive, Suite 295

Laguna Niguel, California 92677

(949) 365-5858

melissabeckslp@gmail.com

Copyright 2016 © Melissa Beck, MA, CCC-SLP