It used to be that there were very few treatments available for sleep apnea. CPAP and surgery pretty much covered it. Today, there are many more. It can be hard to decide which is the best treatment for you.

One treatment you should make sure you’re not overlooking is myofunctional therapy. Although it is not as well known as some treatment options, it offers many benefits that you should consider.

A woman resting peacefully in bed with the help of Myofunctional Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Noninvasive

One of the most important things to choose in a sleep apnea treatment is being noninvasive. People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for surgical complications, so it’s best to choose noninvasive treatment options first.

Myofunctional therapy involves no invasive procedures at all. In fact, it’s probably the least invasive treatment option available. You will do some exercises and wear an appliance for only part of the day.

Treat Multiple Problems

Myofunctional therapy may be noninvasive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not not powerful. In fact, myofunctional therapy is one of the most powerful treatment options for sleep apnea because it also has the potential to treat many concerns you may have in addition to sleep apnea.

Myofunctional treatment can help with:

  • TMJ
  • Orthodontic problems
  • Teeth clenching and grinding
  • Recovery from tongue tie
  • Speech disorders
  • Difficulty chewing or eating
  • Lips that don’t stay closed

And it can achieve all these results simultaneously. Most other sleep apnea treatments are focused just on sleep apnea. That’s all they can do. But with myofunctional therapy, we can address many problems that are related to the root cause of jaw development.

Lifetime Improvement

Myofunctional therapy works in part by establishing healthy lifetime habits that you continue long after your formal therapy ceases. You unlearn unhealthy habits and replace them with healthy habits that can help improve your health for a lifetime.

For most sleep apnea treatment, you only benefit as long as you keep using the treatment. Thus, when you start CPAP, you may be committing to wearing the mask essentially every night for the rest of your life. But with myofunctional therapy, you will have a course of treatment, and after the treatment ends, you will experience long-term improvement in your sleep apnea. For some people, this can diminish the severity of sleep apnea to the point where no other treatment is necessary: it’s almost like a cure in some cases.

Works with Other Treatments

Another benefit of myofunctional therapy is that it can be used alongside other treatments. It won’t interfere with your CPAP or your oral appliance therapy. To some extent, these other treatments might reduce the benefits of myofunctional therapy, although they shouldn’t stop the benefits, especially if they’re chosen with myofunctional therapy in mind. Combining treatments can satisfy the need to get immediate sleep apnea treatment, while working toward long-term permanent improvement.

Will Myofunctional Therapy Work for You?

If you have sleep apnea in Virginia, you should make sure you’re considering all treatment options before you commit to one (or more). If you want to learn how myofunctional therapy could potentially help you, please call 703-323-8200 today for an appointment with Burke, VA sleep dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban and her talented staff, which includes a certified Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist (OMT). We look forward to helping you.