The power of orofacial myofunctional therapy: Supports healthy breathing, chewing, and more in Payson, UT

Gunnerson Dental is built on a foundation of sophisticated, clinically proven technologies and techniques. So, orofacial myofunctional therapy is a great fit and complements other advanced services and technologies available at our Payson, UT office. 

Sink into the benefits 

While the terms “orofacial” and “myofunctional” may sound a bit like alphabet soup, oro is simply about your mouth. The rest of the word accounts for your facial structure. 

“Myofunctional” is about those habits associated with the study of orofacial muscles, especially how the lips, tongue, and cheeks support or hinder our ability to efficiently and adequately breathe, chew, swallow, and speak. Dr. K. Cheyn Gunnerson is trained and experienced in preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients whose swallowing, speech, and respiration are compromised. Patients are educated and instructed on habits and exercises that promote and support healthy “posture,” which refers to the relationship between the lips and the tongue at rest. Disordered oral postures and patterns can interfere with jaw development and are connected to several conditions that can damage your child’s quality of life. They even have implications for attractive facial aesthetics. 

A taste of these symptoms include: 

  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders – This complex condition is characterized by stressed or imbalanced jaw joints and the muscles surrounding the TMJ, which behaves like a hinge to facilitate mouth movements. Dysfunctional TMJ is frequently linked to chronic migraines; neck, back, and shoulder pain; earaches; tinnitus; jaw stiffness, locking, or popping; dizziness; dysphagia (problems swallowing); and vertigo. Dr. Gunnerson also finds telltale signs of TMJ and related conditions during regular check-ups. He may detect bruxism or teeth-grinding that shortens the lifespan of dental restorations and chips or fractures natural tooth structure. Teeth may also be vulnerable to sensitivity, especially to cold or hot drinks and foods, partly due to enamel erosion caused by force placed on the teeth from behaviors such as grinding teeth and clenching the jaws. 
  • Mouth breathing – Orofacial problems can affect respiration and lead to several other complications. Patients who could benefit from myofunctional therapy may have crooked teeth, bite problems, a lack of defined facial features, a weak jawline, and a poor profile. They may complain to Dr. Gunnerson about dry mouth, chronically dry lips, frequent sore throats, as well as ear infections. Disordered sleep is another common complaint. Fortunately, Dr. Gunnerson is well-versed in sleep dentistry techniques and technologies to resolve the likes of sleep-disordered breathing effectively and conservatively. 

Since myofunctional problems are associated with pain and myriad other symptoms that can affect the quality of your life, therapy and exercises that promote healthy muscular and swallowing patterns are an exceptional value. If your insurance does not include such treatment, it may be an excellent opportunity to put your tax-advantaged Health Savings Account dollars to work. Likewise, our team is happy to acquaint you with financing options through CareCredit® and our in-house dental membership plan. Contact us at (801) 658-0175 today.