Northwest Arkansas Family Dental
Fayetteville, AR Dentist

Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy

March 27, 2022
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Posted By: Northwest Arkansas Family Dental

Myofunctional disorders impact the lives of both children and teens. But the good news is that your Fayetteville, AR, dentist offers effective therapies and treatments to correct these issues.

What Are Myofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders deal with the arches and how they influence tooth placement and contribute to correct oral function. For example, an arch or palate can make eating difficult and lead to mouth breathing. In turn, mouth breathing influences arch development, specifically in children.

Myofunctional therapy also plays a role in orthodontics, lowering your failed treatment and relapse risks.

Signs of Myofunctional Disorders

Myofunctional problems can affect adults and children but in different ways. Here are some issues that can result from myofunctional disorder or cause it:

  • Gasping for air while eating
  • Snoring or peculiar mouth sounds when sleeping
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Disordered sleep—tossing and turning
  • Tongue or lip tie
  • Dark eye circles or looking tired
  • Short attention span or forgetfulness
  • Feeling tired throughout the day
  • Textural aversion to certain foods
  • Tongue thrusting when swallowing
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding)
  • Fidgeting or difficulty sitting still
  • Crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth
  • Problem with nursing in infants

If you notice any of these issues in your child, it’s essential to seek a diagnosis and treatment to help your child’s development!

How Myofunctional Therapy Works

Because disorders are so specific, our myofunctional therapy addresses your precise needs. For example, you may require certain jaw-based or oral exercise, or issues can dictate more involved treatments. 

A partial list of our therapies:

Myobrace and Expanders

Think of Myobrace as an early intervention for your child’s smile.

If your child’s dentist in Fayetteville discovers early that their jaw may not accommodate all their adult teeth, we typically recommend Myobrace. Myobrace fits around teeth, helping to guide them into the proper position. This approach often means successful orthodontics later and even a shorter time in treatment.

Expanders can help widen the arch or palate to make more room for teeth and improve the oral structure.

Space Holders

Myofunctional therapy is also preventive. In this case, premature baby tooth loss can lead to improper adult tooth eruption. Space maintainers keep the location freed up for proper tooth placement later.

Orthodontics

Treatments like Invisalign straighten teeth to improve or eliminate myofunctional disorders and promote better oral health.

Nightguard

A custom nightguard in Fayetteville fits over teeth and gently discourages the upper and lower jaw from connecting during sleep. This eliminates grinding and clenching, but it may also improve TMJ disorders—the joint that links the lower jaw to the face.

3 Major Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy in Fayetteville, AR

At heart, myofunctional therapy is a way to restart or reprogram your oral workings to function correctly. Expanded on and explored, this can mean numerous approaches with many benefits.

#1 Promotes Better Oral Health

Issues like mouth breathing and conditions like bruxism can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss, among other things.

Dry mouth supports tooth decay, and bruxism wears down teeth, promoting cavities and fractures. Myofunctional therapies address these issues successfully.

#2 Complements Orthodontic Treatment

Early intervention with myofunctional therapy often means more successful orthodontic treatments in the future. It can also mean spending less time in braces or clear aligners.

The dentist evaluates their arch and teeth throughout childhood for children to see if myofunctional therapy will benefit their future oral health and function.

#3 May Correct Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that demands treatment. Without intervention, high blood pressure and other severe complications ensue.

Myofunctional therapy also works to combat snoring, even in cases where it’s not related to sleep apnea.

Myofunctional Therapy with Your Fayetteville, AR Dentist

Myofunctional therapy helps children thrive and mitigates many future risks, including tooth decay and speech delay. Adults with bruxism, sleep apnea, and other related conditions also benefit from treatment.

To learn more or schedule a consultation, give us a call today.

Patients visit us from all locations, including Fayetteville, Springdale, Johnson, Cave Springs, and your neighborhood. We are happy to accept CareCredit and always invite new patients to join the NWA Family Dental Savings Plan.

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