What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional Therapy is oral facial muscle therapy which uses measurement and exercise to correct a deviated swallow, commonly called a “tongue thrust.” This is a problem often seen in orthodontic, dental, speech, and special needs patients. Myofunctional Therapy was designed to change the habits of abnormal swallowing patterns, build oral facial muscle strength, and train the patient to swallow correctly. Correct function makes it possible for a patient to engage successfully in swallowing, eating, breathing, and speaking, along with a healthy facial tone and appearance. Myofunctional therapies work together with orthodontic, dental, and speech providers to optimize their results and retain the success of those treatments. People with syndromes and disorders requiring improved oral mechanics including Cerebral Palsy, cleft lip and palate, Down Syndrome, Oral Apraxia, Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder, Dysarthria and premature infants with feeding difficulties will benefit greatly from a customized myofunctional therapy treatment plan.

There are a multitude of symptoms or signs that may be present if you have a deviated swallow. Some of the most common symptoms to look for are: malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth, problems with articulation; tongue protruding in the mouth when speaking, eating or at rest; dry, chapped lips or mouth breathing; poor facial tone; excessive belching or stomach aches; poor eating and feeding mechanics.

Do I need Myofunctional Therapy?

  • Is your child a picky eater?
  • Do you have chronic jaw pain?
  • Are you frustrated that speech therapy has not fixed the problem?
  • Has your child been diagnosed with a disorder such as Apraxia?
  • Has your dentist pointed out an overbite caused by “tongue thrust”?
  • Does your infant have difficulty feeding?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, contact The Institute of Myofunctional Studies at 770-817-8002 for a free phone consultation. We treat patients from infant to adult for these and many other oral motor problems.

For the patient with a deviated swallow or “tongue thrust”, myofunctional therapy is THE solution. Myofunctional therapy is a series of exercises which will adjust tongue placement, normalize the swallowing pattern and improve facial muscle balance. This will allow a patient to retain good orthodontic alignment or “occlusion” and dental care, correct speech problems, properly eat a varied diet of all textures, and relieve oral facial pain. The measurement used by a myofunctional therapist is the key to understanding where a patient’s baseline is, the progress being made with treatment, and when success has been achieved.

Review our complete list of symptoms for more information about the need for myofunctional therapy.

Who Is the Institute of Myofunctional Studies?

The Institute of Myofunctional Studies is a full service treatment center for all oral motor needs. The professionals at The Institute of Myofunctional Studies treat deviated swallows, the basis for most dental, speech, and feeding issues. Sharon Wexler and Ryan Wexler have over 40 years of combined experience treating patients who have irregularities in their speech and/or swallowing pattern. Patients of The Institute of Myofunctional Studies ranging from infant to adult have found myofunctional therapy in partnership with their orthodontist, dentist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist or physical therapist to be the solution for their oral motor issues.

The Institute of Myofunctional Studies acts in accordance with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. This act protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information to protect and improve patient safety.

How Can I Get Started?

Please call the Institute of Myofunctional Studies at 770-817-8002 to schedule a complete evaluation, or go to our Contact page to send us a detailed question or request. Your evaluation may include oral facial muscle strength measurements which can be the basis for creating a customized treatment plan.

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M e e t   A   P a t i e n t

Myofunctional therapy has made a huge difference in Josh's speech. We can really hear a difference in the sounds he was having the most trouble with. Combining his articulation therapy with Myofunctional therapy enabled him to master sounds we weren't sure if he would ever be able to pronounce correctly.

M e e t   o u r   p a r t n e r s

Dentists, orthodontists, and pediatricians have the skills and expertise to recognize the symptoms that result from a deviated swallow. The Institute of Myofunctional Studies has a relationship with several area professionals that regularly refer patients.

Please click on the names below to learn more about our partners:

James J. Awbrey IV, DMD, PC

Sonia George Bussey, MD

Laurie Cavallaro, DDS

Shelley Margow, OTR/L

Linda Nathanson-Lippitt, MD, FAAP

Alison Tucker, SLP