Myofunctional Therapy Specialist

Missoula Dental

Holistic Dentistry located in Missoula, MT

Myofunctional therapy can treat speech issues, sleep apnea, and teeth grinding without the need for surgery, injections, or medications. At Missoula Dental in Missoula, Montana, Soren Loftus, DDS, and our in house myofunctional therapist Holly Turner, RDH, uses myofunctional therapy to train and strengthen your oral and facial muscles. Get in touch with Missoula Dental for an appointment by calling the office or by scheduling your visit online today.

Myofunctional Therapy Q&A

What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is a treatment to retrain your tongue and facial muscles. When these muscles are dysfunctional, you can experience a range of symptoms and complications involving the mouth. 

Symptoms and complications like speech problems, dysfunctional growth and development, snoring, and sleep apnea can have wide-reaching effects, so Dr. Soren recommends myofunctional therapy as a conservative treatment option.

Myofunctional therapy has its limitations and cannot do the work of braces or clear aligners. However, it can reduce many of the effects of orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) and lead to improved oral functioning and hygiene. OMDs can affect saliva flow and increase the likelihood of bacteria building up on your teeth and gums.

Who can benefit from myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy benefits individuals with OMDs. OMDs happen when the tongue, jaw, lips, and facial muscles are in positions that negatively impact the function of your mouth. 

A few common underlying causes are upper airway obstructions and chronic oral habits like thumb-sucking.

Consider scheduling a visit with Dr. Soren at Missoula Dental to discuss myofunctional therapy if you experience:

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Speech difficulties
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea (breathing pauses at night)

Other symptoms like stomach aches and facial pain, may be attributed to an OMD but could have many other potential causes. Dr. Soren tells you if myofunctional therapy can benefit you after a personalized consultation.

How does myofunctional therapy work?

At Missoula Dental, Holly creates individualized myofunctional therapy plans that include oral and facial exercises. She teaches you these exercises and encourages you to practice them at home regularly.

A few common techniques for retraining your facial muscles and eliminating improper oral habits include:

  • Tongue clicking
  • Holding a spoon or other object between your lips
  • Rolling or folding your tongue
  • Holding your tongue in certain positions
  • Pressing your tongue against your soft palate
  • Focusing on breathing through your nose
  • Normalizing your facial resting position

As you work through myofunctional therapy with Holly's support, you may notice improvements in your chewing, speaking, and even your sleeping patterns. You might also notice a slight change to the way your face or smile looks.

Find out how myofunctional therapy can improve your oral and facial functioning. Get in touch with Missoula Dental over the phone or online for a myofunctional therapy consultation today.