Myofunctional therapy

Myofunctional therapy is being performed by trained speech therapists and is very often a therapy that accompanies any orthodontic treatment. It can often be observed that a patient, who suffers from a certain tooth or jaw malocclusion, also exhibits an abnormal swallowing pattern, incorrect formation of phonemes, tongue pressing or habitual opening of the mouth.

The causes of many tooth and jaw malocclusions are myofunctional, that is, they are directly attributable to a disorder of the muscle apparatus of the mouth and facial area. For example, keeping the mouth open, as a result of breathing through the mouth, contributes to the underdevelopment of the lip muscles. One indication that a patient primarily breathes through the mouth is dry and cracked lips. The lips of people who breathe through the mouth cannot withstand the pressure of the tongue, and the teeth are therefore being pushed forward. As a consequence the tongue no longer lies against the front part of the palate, and the cheek muscles can hinder the development of the entire upper jaw. It would not make much sense to correct malocclusions, which were caused by myofunctional disturbances, without an accompanying speech therapy, because it would lead to so-called „Rezidivs“. After a short time, the patients would have the same malocclusion as in the beginning of the therapy.

Especially this field of medicine makes the profession of the orthodontist so interesting, because the patient is treated as a whole, with all his/her physical and psychological aspects being considered.