What is MFT?
Myofunctional Therapy (MFT) may also be known as Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMFT). Myofunctional Therapy is physical therapy for the muscles of the head and neck used to chew, swallow and breathe.
It eliminates improper posture of tongue and swallowing abnormalities and retrains the muscles to obtain a normal resting posture of the tongue, lips and jaw.
Training the muscles to achieve the correct positions of the tongue and lips helps achieve the goals of proper nasal/diaphragm breathing. Better breathing allows for better sleep!
Many patients who have myofunctional therapy needs, also have digestive problems because they swallow air and often do not chew as well. This aerophagia is usually an unconscious act that occurs during normal eating and drinking.
Aerophagia is directly linked to a tongue-thrust swallowing pattern and is associated with other conditions such as abdominal bloating, cramping, belching, and flatulence. Other myofunctional related digestive problems include gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is also called silent reflux, as patients are often unaware of the stomach acid traveling up the esophagus (swallowing tube) and getting to the throat.
Symptoms of LPR include: mild hoarseness, sensation of lump in the throat, need to clear the throat, sore throat, sensation of mucus sticking in the throat or post nasal drip, chronic cough and difficulty swallowing, acid reflux or heartburn.
What are the goals of Myofunctional Therapy?
- Nasal breathing
- Lip Closure
- Tongue Posture
- Correct Swallowing pattern.