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Myofunctional Therapy

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Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is A Treatment for Sleep Apnea and Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

The muscles, nerves, and tongue are all responsible for a number of important, daily functions. These include things like chewing, breathing, swallowing, speaking, and more. When someone has an orofacial myofunctional disorder, also known as OMDs, the muscles in the facial area and throat do not work as they should, affecting things such as bone development, chewing and swallowing, speech, temporomandibular joint movement, facial appearance, etc.

Anyone can have an OMD, and they affect people of all ages and can produce varying symptoms. Another issue that can be caused by this condition is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Sleep apnea may be caused by things like allergies and enlarged tonsils, as well as OMDs.

Sleep apnea causes a chronic lack of substantial oxygen intake during sleep hours, and has been linked to depression, ADHD, headaches, shorter lifespan, snoring, drowsiness, choking while sleeping, and other issues.

Treating sleep apnea is necessary to prevent serious complications for those suffering with the condition. At Beyond Smiles, we aim to treat all our patients with sleep apnea in Park Ridge with compassion and thoroughness. We determine the cause of their condition and discuss all available treatment options.

Another condition similar to sleep apnea, but not quite as severe, is upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). It’s not unusual for a child or adult who has tested negative for sleep apnea to still suffer from significant breathing issues, bite misalignment, etc due to UARS. Symptoms of UARS are similar to sleep apnea, but since the symptoms do not quite meet the parameters of a sleep apnea diagnosis, patients with this condition often go undiagnosed.

UARS typically leads to many problems associated with sleep apnea, such as daytime drowsiness, lack of concentration, bedwetting, and more.

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

In order to address sleep apnea or UARS caused by an OMD, there are customizable facial exercises recommended by dentists and orofacial myofunctional therapists which help strengthen the affected muscles. This treatment method is known as orofacial myofunctional therapy.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy helps patients when their sleep apnea/UARS is caused by an OMD. As noted above, untreated OMDs can also lead to other problems. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can be used to treat such problems, like improper chewing, speaking, swallowing, dental problems (such as teeth shifting or bite misalignment), tense facial muscles, drooling, and more.

Your Trusted Park Ridge Dentist

If you are dealing with an orofacial myofunctional disorder, UARS, or sleep apnea, contact Beyond Smiles for more information about our services and treatment options today.

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