Specific Treatment Concerns
Allergies are a very common problem and affect an estimated 10-30% of the population. In some cases, it may be necessary to work with a specialist to help manage and control allergy symptoms. Occasionally, patients with chronic allergy/nasal congestion may require additional medical management A referral to an ENT, allergist, or immunologist may be recommended.
Temporomandibular (Jaw) Joint Dysfunction
Many patients can find relief from problems that occur in the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints or TMJ), causing pain, headaches, or ear problems through myofunctional therapy. However, because problems associated with the TMJ are often multi-faceted, and can be rooted in non-muscular causes, myofunctional therapy is not guaranteed to help all patients with TMJ conditions. We are pleased when myofunctional exercises prove to be beneficial in reducing pain or other symptoms of the TMJ, but cannot predict that these outcomes will be consistent for every patient undergoing therapy. Treatment by other medical or dental specialists may be necessary, and referrals may be made accordingly.
Ankyloglossia (Tongue-Tie) And Functional Frenuloplasty (Release Of A Restricted Frenum)
Many patients experience myofunctional disorders caused by a tight or restricted lingual frenum. This affects an significant portion of the population, and occurs when the tongue is “tied” or tethered to the floor of the mouth, restricting functional movement.
In some cases, it is impossible to proceed with myofunctional therapy because the tongue is severely restricted and unable to function or move properly. In this circumstance, a procedure called a functional frenuloplasty must be performed to release the tight tissue underneath the tongue. Without a functional frenuloplasty, improper resting posture of the tongue, swallowing pattern, and orofacial muscle function cannot be corrected. Treatment by a highly trained ENT, dentist, or oral surgeon may be required. This may be determined at any point during therapy, and referrals to recommended providers will be made. If you choose not to have your tongue-tie released, we cannot guarantee optimal outcomes for your myofunctional therapy or we may need to terminate therapy.
Myofunctional therapy is not considered to be speech therapy; these are two separate and distinct fields. However, myofunctional therapy has been shown to improve speech when muscular concerns are the underlying issue. Myofunctional therapy can have a foundational role in correcting speech problems, and can be considered a “building block” that is often part of achieving successful speech improvement. Due to the wide variation in causes for speech concerns and disorders, it is impossible to guarantee that myofunctional therapy alone will improve your speech. Treatment by a licensed speech pathologist may be necessary.