Airway Guides

Do I need myofunctional therapy? Here’s when to wait and when to act

Inflation is the word of 2022. Gas prices are sky high and prices have risen on many products and services. It is almost more affordable to purchase a cow than to buy a gallon of milk. There is absolutely no need for money to leave a household these days for unnecessary treatments and services. Myofunctional therapy is no exception.

Knowing when to initiate myofunctional therapy treatment can be challenging. Is it critical to get you to the wellness goals you have it mind? Can it be effective enough to produce results? Can it realistically fit into your daily schedule? With numerous considerations and conflicting views on the efficacy it is understandable that you would want to know if orofacial myofunctional therapy is a true need.

That’s why I’m breaking down everything essential to determining if you need myofunctional therapy, when you can wait without harm, and when you absolutely must act immediately.

Is Myofunctional Therapy Necessary?

Once you begin to fall down the rabbit hole of learning the various impacts poor tongue posture, tongue tie, or oral dysfunction has on digestion, breathing, and wellness, it’s hard to feel that myofunctional therapy is not necessary. Many people do suffer from orofacial myofunctional disorders thanks to our societal evolution into processed foods, bottle feeding, and lack of natural infant movement. All things have an impact on our bodies that only compounds as we age.

However, if myofunctional therapy is necessary for all people, then it is essentially necessary for none. Yes, many people need therapy but the only way to determine if you need it is to get assessed. That can involve using a self-testing process or tool, or simply having a consultation with a myofunctional therapist.

Many offer free consultations to discuss whether myofunctional therapy will be the most effective route or if alternative treatments need to be addressed prior. At The Myo Spot we offer free virtual consultations to go over health history, current symptoms and desired outcomes. You will be surprised to know that many people do not get the go ahead to start the myofunctional therapy process. Many need to see an ENT to get physiological clearance for nasal breathing, a sleep study to determine the potential efficacy of the therapy, or see a physician for testing for a number of other causes to their chief concern.

Before you spend a dime on myofunctional therapy services, ensure you have sought out a free consultation to ensure that is the route you should explore. Ask these questions to be certain you are working with the right therapist:

  • My goal is __________. How realistic is it to achieve this goal using myofunctional therapy? If it is not, what other services should I seek?
  • What is your policy on program billing and refunds?
  • Have you had to dismiss patients from therapy? And for what causes?
  • What typical roadblocks do you encounter and how would you overcome them?
  • Are you flexible with scheduling?
  • Do you offer payment plans?

When Myo Can WAIT

Prioritizing treatment options, especially when you are on a budget, is essential to making airway management affordable. Myofunctional therapy may be one of several modalities to treat your problem, there are several instances when it can be delayed with no harm.

  • When palatal expansion is necessary. Palatal expanders often occlude the area of the palate essential for the tongue to contact for optimal oral rest posture. For the duration of treatment with that appliance it is recommended to postpone myofunctional therapy. This is at no harm to the expansion process and no harm to future oral function.
  • When surgical procedures are necessary. Surgical procedures in the head and neck region can often be beneficial to the myofunctional therapy success. Therapy is necessary prior to tongue tie releases and preferred prior to maxillomandibular advancement surgery. However other surgeries such as turbinate reduction and tonsillectomy do not require optimal function for recovery. Myofunctional therapy is often done after these procedures to ensure the best outcome. It can almost be likened to physical therapy required after a medical surgery, in that myo helps you functional recover once the previous blockades are addressed.
  • When sleep apnea is severe. Myofunctional therapy has been researched to be effective for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Severe cases of sleep apnea need to have medical treatments and monitoring to avoid the worst case scenario. There would be little to no benefit in pursuing myofunctional therapy while diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. Try utilizing other methods to control the apnea and retest after 1 year to see the status. Once down to moderate then myofunctional therapy can proceed.

When ACTION Is Required

Dire need is almost never something I use when referring to starting a new client. However, there are some cases where just at first glance I can tell myofunctional therapy is something that has been necessary for quite some time. You know you need myofunctional therapy and should not delay if you experience any one of the below:

  • You are undergoing a frenectomy or tongue tie release
  • Your partner says your snoring is keeping them up at night
  • You are unable to maintain lip closure when relaxed
  • You are actively undergoing orthodontic treatment and do not want it to relapse OR you recently underwent treatment and are seeing a shift despite wearing retainers
  • You are over the age of 5 and still thumb sucking, nail biting, object biting, lip biting or tongue sucking
  • You grind or clench your teeth AND have gum disease

Myofunctional therapy does not have to be a non-essential expense just to satisfy a requirement from your dentist or other healthcare practitioner. It is a very effective modality that can help to boost health and wellness naturally by optimizing oral function. It is critical to speak with a myofunctional therapist to determine your specific needs and if you can derive value from it, or if you need to pursue alternate routes. Contact us today or schedule your free consultation on our website to get started on your journey towards wellness.

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