Treating Speech Problems with Myofunctional Therapy
A Gentle System to Re-Train the Muscles of the Mouth
Myofunctional therapy and speech therapy are not interchangeable terms, although each compliments the other in a variety of ways. Treating speech problems with myofunctional therapy can be seen as a foundational therapy and a way to address the many potential causes of speech issues.
My practice focuses on helping patients to un-learn troublesome mouth, tongue and breathing habits and replace them with healthy ones. In many cases, issues with making correct speech sounds begin in these areas. Treating speech problems with myofunctional therapy is a great way to remove underlying causes.
As a myofunctional therapist, I first assess my patient’s speech problems and then determine if chronic facial/mouth habits or muscular inconsistencies are to blame for the inability to make certain sounds.
Individuals who don’t have proper control of their oral muscles sometimes struggle to make correct sounds from the letters S, N, D, L and T. Often the main cause is a tongue thrust habit or chronic mouth breathing. Both of these disorders can impact our ability to make many sounds, particularly those involving the tip of the tongue. Fortunately, treating speech problems with myofunctional therapy is very effective in the majority of cases.
Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy in Speech Issues
I design customized therapy programs for adults and children that include exercises to help them train their tongues and other facial muscles to function correctly. Children normally respond very well to these exercises, providing parents offer consistent encouragement. Long-term, ingrained habits in adults can take a little longer to overcome, but they will be eliminated if you’re consistent with your therapy.