Any experience with myofunctional correction?
December 23, 2013 4:37 PM   Subscribe

My daughter's dentist is recommending myofunctional correction to correct a bad bite. My person experience is with regular orthodontics when i was a child and they did nothing. I am open to new approaches, but I'd like to know if anyone has had good or bad experiences with myofunctional correction.
posted by alcahofa to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had it when I was a kid based on the recommendation of my orthodontist, and I'm not sure of how "worth it" the treatment was, but I wasn't the greatest at following the exercises I was supposed to do. Even so, I either got enough benefit out of it or my flaws weren't significant enough to cause the further abnormalities that they were worried might arise if I went uncorrected. My bite's not perfect, but things line up for the most part and I don't have any issues.

I went from when I was 12 until I was 17 or 18 and left for college. Pretty much from the outset of treatment, we were told that it would take 7 years, since you're retraining the muscles of your face to work correctly and it takes 7 years for your muscular cells to be replaced with the correctly trained ones. Even when I was 12 that sounded like a bunch of hooey, but I really have no idea how true that actually was.

Treatment consisted of a bunch of measurements of overbite and other stuff, which would happen periodically, and then training with a bunch of exercises meant to strengthen the correct muscles in my mouth, tongue and jaw to get them to work in a way that wasn't distorting my bite. Exercises gradually changed over the course of treatment.

My experience was neither bad nor good, but I really can't tell you whether the treatment was effective or not. I haven't had chiropractic treatment, but myofunctional therapy seems to me to have the same kind of sheen, but for your mouth. I don't think I was really in very bad shape to begin with though.
posted by LionIndex at 5:08 PM on December 23, 2013

I've been practicing in the US for 23 yrs and I've never heard of it. There are some interesting schools of thought in gnathology (the study of the chewing system), so perhaps this is a different name for something that I am already familiar with, but off the top it smacks of a bit of woo.
Perhaps (even in memail) you could provide a bit more info on her 'bad bite'?
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:58 PM on December 23, 2013

OHenry, just to illustrate my example - I swallowed "wrong". To swallow, either just saliva in my mouth or whatever, I pushed my tongue up against my teeth instead of my palate, which supposedly eventually leads to pushing the front teeth out, overbite, buck teeth, etc. The therapy was to correct that swallowing mechanism so that my tongue wasn't pushing on my teeth any more.
posted by LionIndex at 10:15 AM on December 24, 2013

Ahhh, so this is not a therapy to correct the bite, just therapy to eliminate a tongue habit. I am not an orthodontist, but work with enough to know that they will most often correct tongue habits during therapy with an appliance, but we do use a multi-disciplinary approach. perhaps this is terminology used in speech therapy. sorry for the derail.
I guess my answer would be to seek the opinion of an orthodontist (if the aforementioned dentist is not).
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:11 PM on December 24, 2013

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