When many of us think of dentists, we unfortunately think of invasive and sometimes painful treatments like root canal procedures, braces or dental implants. While those are all effective and usually much-needed solutions to dental problems, for certain conditions, we can use non-invasive and even pleasant treatments, too.
One such treatment is myofunctional therapy.
What Is Myofunctional Therapy?
Just like a physical therapist helps you recover from a broken bone or accident using repetitive movements and exercises, Dr. Pamela Marzban works with a myofunctional therapist to help the muscles in your face responsible for chewing and swallowing to recover or to function as they should.
Myofunctional therapy exercises might include moving your tongue toward your nose or chin, pushing it to the left or right, or keeping the lips tightly pressed together. The purpose of myofunctional therapy depends on your needs. For some, myofunctional therapy is necessary to help treat issues causing sleep apnea. For others, it’s treating temporomandibular joint disorders.
How Myofunctional Therapy Works
In years past, dentists weren’t quite sure what caused conditions like TMJ or sleep apnea. Only in recent years have we learned that sleep apnea is closely tied to your oral health.
Luckily, we now understand that sleep apnea happens when you experience disordered breathing. Disordered breathing happens for a few reasons, among them a misaligned jaw or a narrow airway. Myofunctional therapy seeks to realign your jaw, reshape your jaw (including your airway), improve your swallowing, and strengthen all of the muscles responsible for breathing, swallowing and chewing.
What to Do When Myofunctional Therapy Doesn’t Work
While myofunctional therapy is a great, non-invasive and, in many cases, pleasant and therapeutic way to treat TMJ and sleep apnea, it isn’t a cure-all. For example, if your sleep apnea is caused by obesity, obstructions in the airway, allergies, or other problems not related to the muscles of your mouth and throat, myofunctional therapy may not work for you.
However, there are still ways you can treat your TMJ or sleep apnea and work toward a healthier, happier you. Dr. Marzban uses WatchPAT to determine the severity and cause of your obstructive sleep apnea. The MicrO2 sleep appliance or a CPAP device are two ways to treat your sleep apnea. TMJ has many more treatment options, including mouthguards, TENS therapy, Invisalign, or dental restoration options like dental crowns or veneers.
Find Your Breath Again
If you believe you’re experiencing the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders or obstructive sleep apnea, you don’t have to live with them. Here at the office of Dr. Pamela Marzban, DDS in Burke, Virginia, we help patients throughout the area, Fairfax County and northern Virginia find their breath and improve their oral health.
If you’re interested in correcting your TMJ or sleep apnea in a non-surgical way that doesn’t interfere with your daily life, Dr. Pamela Marzban can help. Please schedule an appointment with us today by calling 703-323-8200 or send us an email by clicking here today.