What does an assessment include?
This is a list of all the things I look at during a orofacial myofunctional assessment:
- Tonsils and adenoids
- Mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing
- Where the tongue rests in the mouth
- Orthodontic treatment
- Jaw pain and dysfunction
- Head, neck and facial pain
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Facial structure
- Habits such as thumb and finger sucking
The mouth is capable of change with DISCIPLINE and TIME. Exercises will tone the orofacial muscles, changing their shape, strength, range of motion, and their ability to coordinate with other muscles.
I teach clients exercises that relate to tongue placement, breathing, speaking, chewing, and the oral phase of swallowing. I want the tongue to rest in the right place and the lips to stay closed. When these two simple things happen, troublesome symptoms disappear and the big picture problems around braces, jaw pain, and sleep apnea become much easier to treat.
Control of the new functions through self-monitoring and self-correction is necessary in order to develop new habits. It will take time to tone and retrain the muscles to help them function the right way. Long-term success will require perseverance with the therapy to prevent going back to old habits and patterns.