Dear Families and Friends of The Institute of Myofunctional Studies,
Ryan and I would like to wish all of you a Joyous Holiday Season and a very Happy and Healthy New Year. We feel very privileged to be included in your lives and look forward to a very productive year ahead. The Institute will be closed from December 24th until January 5, 2015. With the new year we look forward to meeting more expectations and continue to reach for the best therapy we are able to provide. We appreciate the confidence you have shown us and look forward to being your partner in the future.
So you are having cosmetic dentistry and wondering should I also consider a Myofunctional evaluation?
The answer is yes. Regardless the type of cosmetic work being done, if there are any changes in the relationship of the teeth then an evaluation would be beneficial. One should not assume that just because the appearance is being addressed that it does not impact the function of the muscles surrounding the teeth or the gum surfaces. Often periodontal problems result in future cosmetic treatment. One needs to consider what originally caused the periodontal problem. If a reverse swallow caused the shifting of the teeth, which resulted in periodontal disease, then this will continue after cosmetic treatment unless addressed appropriately. Likewise, when making cosmetic changes to the teeth, one needs to be sure that the muscles will be able to help hold the new dental formation, and not cause it to became another dental nightmare down the road. A Myofunctional evaluation will predetermine if the swallow pattern or oral muscle strength can co- exist and support the changes that cosmetic treatment will create. Once a successful Myofunctional evaluation has been completed, you will have a better understanding of the outcome of your overall cosmetic treatment.
In a perfect world anyone having orthodontic treatment, or substantial dental treatment should have a Myofunctional Evaluation. This will alert both the patient and the dentist to any potential difficulty that may impact the outcome of treatment. The assumption is often made that if form is changed, then function will follow. Form in this case is the relationship of the teeth to one another, or changes in positioning of the jaw, or major changes in a cosmetic way. The function is the relationship of the oral muscles, primarily the tongue, lips and cheeks and how they impact the dentition. If these muscles are not retrained or balanced appropriately, then they will resume their prior function and change the relationship of the dentition. This can cause orthodontic relapse, or changes in the relationship of the teeth. Individuals, who require dentures, often cannot retain them in the mouth because the swallow pattern has not been retrained to hold the teeth in place.
The evaluation can be a means to deter further dental difficulties down the road, or prevent the return of prior conditions. The cost is worth the peace of mind that your dental treatment will likely be more successful.
Often it is asked, “When should oral motor therapy begin?” Believe it or not, as early as infancy. Infants who are premature, born with a syndrome such as Down, cleft lip and/or palate, cerebral palsy etc. all need oral stimulation for overall development, or for the development of skills needed for feeding. The mouth is an infant’s early learning center, and the more responsive it is, the more stimulation and knowledge the infant can gain.
Many of these oral skills can be handled by choosing wisely in the use of the kind of pacifier the infant has, or the kind of nipple on the bottle. Providing the infant with mouth tickles and oral play can create a path of more normal oral development.
Poor oral development may affect breathing, dentition development, posture, eating skills, speech, balance, hearing, and stomach comfort. Infants noted to have low muscle tone, delayed general development, neurological involvements, reflux, regurgitation, poor ability to latch on for nursing, oral facial anomalies, etc. are all candidates for early oral motor intervention. The likelihood is that these infants will not transition into a normal swallow pattern within the first year of life. This can then result in more significant difficulties in their development, and will more than likely become candidates for Myofunctional Therapy.
Part of a good prenatal program, once a family is aware that there may be a complication, is for them to investigate starting early oral motor intervention. This is often the responsibility of the family, as the medical community has not yet caught up to understanding the necessity of good oral mechanics.
We finally did it! The Institute of Myofunctional Studies is proud to announce the unveiling of a new and improved website. For so long, we have wanted to share with our patients and partners what it is we really do at The Institute. Our newly remodeled website is the place to go for the answer to What is myofunctional therapy?
Diagnosing and treating oral motor conditions is what we do best. By educating people about what we do we can help improve lives. Our goals are to help patients successfully complete and retain orthodontic and dental treatment plans, correct chronic speech problems, and train patients to properly eat a varied diet of all textures.
Visit our new website to learn what symptoms to look for in anyone who might benefit from myofunctional therapy, what to expect at a diagnostic evaluation and how to get started! We are thrilled to have another way to share the new endeavors of The Institute and Words of Wisdom we have gathered along the way.