What Is Myofunctional Therapy? How Does It Work?

June 16, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drthomas @ 8:17 am
Holistic dentist in Southlake carefully examining patient’s jaw

The jaw, teeth, tongue, and facial muscles should all work together harmoniously. If they do not, an individual may suffer from an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD). Dr. Thomas works with trustworthy local specialists to help patients benefit from myofunctional therapy, and she offers the ALF appliance. Let’s talk about what myofunctional therapy is, what an ALF appliance is, and how they may work to help you enjoy a healthier life.

What Is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy involves the use of exercises and possibly appliances to correct problems with the positioning of the jaw and tongue. For example, it may help to correct tongue thrust, a common issue wherein the tongue sits too far forward in the mouth. It can also play a role in reducing mouth breathing, swallowing problems, and other common issues that adversely affect orofacial functions. It may even improve overall posture, reduce breathing problems, and relieve neck and back pain. It is often recommended for patients both before and after they undergo a frenectomy (treatment for tongue tie).

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?

When you visit Dr. Thomas, she will examine your teeth, jaw, and other orofacial structures, as well as learn about your habits and OMD symptoms. From there, she might recommend that you visit a local myofunctional therapy provider. During therapy, you will learn how to perform specific exercises that will train your mouth and jaw to function better. She may also urge you to use an ALF appliance.

What exactly is an ALF appliance? ALF is an acronym that stands for Advanced Lightwire Functionals. It is a removal, custom-made orthodontic appliance that gradually corrects anatomical abnormalities in the mouth that contribute to OMDs. For example, it may slightly reposition the jaw and dental arches.

What to Expect with the ALF Appliance and Myofunctional Therapy

Once you start wearing an ALF appliance, it may feel strange in your mouth for a few days, but most patients adapt pretty quickly. Since the majority of its structure will be on the backside of your teeth, onlookers are unlikely to notice it. Because it is removable, you can take it out of your mouth for easy oral hygiene. Dr. Thomas will expect you to visit our office every 6 – 8 weeks so she can monitor your treatment’s progress.

The exercises involved in myofunctional therapy may feel strange at first, but that is a sign they are working! Remember, it is a form of physical therapy, so some discomfort is to be expected. Complying with your exercise program will help you experience the best possible results from your ALF treatment.

Myofunctional therapy and the ALF appliance can have many benefits for your oral and overall health. If you would like to learn more about them, Dr. Thomas would be pleased to talk with you.

Meet the Holistic Dentist

Dr. Preetha Thomas is a dentist in Southlake with many years of experience. When she was living in India, she earned a Masters in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Since coming to the U.S., she has passionately pursued even further education. She proudly offers ALF appliance therapy as one of her many services. Contact our practice at 817-912-1218 to learn more about Dr. Thomas and how our team may be able to serve you.

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