Portland’s Myofunctional Therapy 101

Discover the power of myofunctional therapy at Division Street Dental in Portland. Dive deep with Dr. Noor, Dr. Whitney & team as they address sleep apnea, breathing concerns, and more. Begin your holistic journey with our detailed guide!

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    asian women doing myofunctional therapy therapy exercises for a better smile

    What is Myofunctional Therapy?

    Myofunctional therapy, often a buzzword in dental circles, is a series of exercises specifically targeting the muscles of the face and mouth. When one thinks of dental wellness, clean teeth, and gums might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the health of our oral cavity goes beyond that; it extends to how the muscles around our mouth and throat function.

    Orofacial myofunctional therapy, a subset of myofunctional therapy, zeroes in on the orofacial muscles, the ones controlling our lips, tongue, and cheeks. By retraining these muscles, this therapy can help in correcting various issues like mouth breathing, snoring, and some causes of sleep apnea. Children and Adults can benefit from this therapy. It is not one size fits all.

    Myofunctional Therapy Before and After

    Patients who’ve undergone myofunctional therapy exercises often report noticeable improvements in their sleep. Before therapy, individuals might experience breathing problems, such as snoring, daytime drowsiness, frequent headaches, constant dry mouth, jaw pain, a hard time sleeping through the night with periods of wakefulness in the middle of the night, and a chronic dependency on mouth breathing.

    After consistent therapy, many patients transition to nasal breathing, which is crucial in keeping our upper airways open. This shift can lead to better sleep, increased oxygen levels, decreased CO2 retention, increased NO uptake, and much better-improved sleep.

    Is Myofunctional Therapy Legit?

    One of the common questions about myofunctional therapy in Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere is its legitimacy. Fortunately, there’s growing evidence in its favor. Several studies have shown that myofunctional therapy exercises alone can decrease your risk of sleep apnea by 50%. This increases the strengthening of the soft tissue of the mouth and throat, it ensures that the airways remain open during sleep and proper oxygen goes to your brain and organs.

    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is often prescribed for sleep apnea patients. This is the gold standard for sleep apnea patients. Please consult with your physician regarding all of your options. Not everyone can tolerate positive airway pressure CPAP machines.  Alternatively, myofunctional therapy emerges as a viable treatment option, especially when combined with advice from sleep specialists.

    However, myofunctional therapy does not replace the need for a CPAP. It is a therapy that can help patients use their CPAP machine comfortably and safely throughout the night. Consult with your physician about your options for proper sleep hygiene. 

    Does Insurance cover Myofunctional Therapy?

    Coverage for myofunctional therapy varies. As the awareness and acceptance of the treatment grow, more insurance companies are recognizing its benefits, especially concerning sleep apnea and its related risk factors, such as high blood pressure and daytime sleepiness. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider and consult with clinics that offer myofunctional therapy near me to understand the coverage specifics.

    What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

    As we’ve touched upon earlier, orofacial myofunctional therapy is a specialized subset of myofunctional therapy. It deals with the function and coordination of the muscles in the face and mouth. This therapy is instrumental in addressing habits like thumb sucking, issues with tongue posture, and problems related to the soft palate. These challenges, when left unchecked, can lead to higher risks of sleep disorders and breathing issues.

    For those living in the Portland area and seeking “myofunctional therapy Portland Oregon”, Division Street Dental, under the expert guidance of Dr. Khaki Noor, offers comprehensive care and treatment options. Our team ensures that you receive personalized care to address your unique needs.

    How Does Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Differ?

    Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) and general myofunctional therapy both center on muscle training in the face and mouth, yet they cater to distinct needs and issues. Here’s a comparison to clarify:

    Targeted Muscles:

    • OMT: Focuses specifically on the orofacial muscles—those controlling the lips, tongue, cheeks, and jaw.
    • General Myofunctional Therapy: Covers a broader range of facial and mouth muscles, possibly including those related to the upper airways.

    Main Concerns Addressed:

    • OMT: Specifically targets habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and improper tongue posture. Also assists in improving speech, facial symmetry, and better breathing.
    • General Myofunctional Therapy: Addresses a wider range of issues, including those OMT targets, but may also encompass concerns like sleep apnea and broader breathing problems.

    Therapeutic Goals:

    • OMT: Aims to retrain the orofacial muscles for optimal function, ensuring correct posture and muscle coordination. Ultimately it will physically push your jaw forward allowing your tongue to move forward to open up your airway..
    • General Myofunctional Therapy: Myofunctional therapy allows you to train your tongue and improve tongue tone, allowing you ti swallow better, and breathe through your nose. This type of therapy seeks to strengthen and coordinate various face and mouth muscles to improve overall function and address diverse oral issues.

    Understanding the specific nuances between these two therapies ensures patients receive the most appropriate sleep apnea treatment for their individual concerns.

    The Link between Myofunctional Therapy and Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It can result in reduced oxygen levels and fragmented sleep, leading to numerous health problems. Among the treatments for sleep apnea are myofunctional therapy exercises for sleep apnea.

    However, myofunctional therapy does not treat sleep apnea. These exercises aim to strengthen the muscles of the face and mouth, thereby ensuring that the upper airways stay open. 

    One key benefit of these exercises is that they provide a non-invasive alternative. Many patients are wary of the idea of using continuous positive airway pressure machines or undergoing surgery. By targeting the root of the problem—the weakened soft tissue and muscles—myofunctional therapy offers a holistic approach to sleep and breathing problems.

    FAQ Myofunctional Therapy

    Navigating the world of dental wellness can be filled with questions; here we address some of the most frequently asked questions about myofunctional therapy in Portland to guide you on your journey to optimal oral health.

    What is myofunctional therapy?

    Myofunctional therapy involves exercises targeting the muscles of the face and mouth, promoting better breathing, sleep, and dental health.

    How does orofacial myofunctional therapy differ from general myofunctional therapy?

    Orofacial myofunctional therapy is a specialized subset focusing on the orofacial muscles—those controlling our lips, tongue, and cheeks.

    Can myofunctional therapy help with sleep apnea?

    Yes, myofunctional therapy exercises can reduce sleep apnea symptoms by strengthening the soft tissue of the mouth and throat, ensuring airways stay open during sleep.

    Is myofunctional therapy a legitimate treatment option?

    Absolutely. Myofunctional therapy is backed by research and can be an effective, non-invasive treatment, especially when combined with sleep specialists’ advice.

    Does insurance cover myofunctional therapy?

    Coverage varies, but as its benefits become more widely recognized, many insurance providers are including it, especially in relation to sleep apnea treatments.

    Where can I find “myofunctional therapy near me” in Portland?

    Division Street Dental, under the guidance of Dr. Khaki Noor, offers comprehensive myofunctional therapy services in Portland, Oregon.

    Are there any side effects to myofunctional therapy exercises?

    Myofunctional therapy is non-invasive, with minimal side effects. However, like any therapy, it’s crucial to follow guidelines and work closely with trained professionals.

    Is a CPAP machine better than myofunctional therapy for sleep apnea?

    While CPAP machines are effective for many with sleep apnea, some patients find them uncomfortable. Myofunctional therapy offers an alternative treatment option that targets the root causes of sleep apnea.

    Ready for Better Dental Wellness?

    Portland has always been a city that values health, wellness, and holistic treatments. Myofunctional therapy, with its non-invasive approach and myriad benefits, fits right into this philosophy. At Division Street Dental, Dr. Noor and her team are dedicated to offering the best care, combining modern science with time-tested techniques.

    Ready to embark on a journey to better dental wellness? Don’t wait! Call us now at (503) 774-3033 or visit our clinic at 7600 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206. Your holistic health transformation begins with a single step!

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