Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based therapy. Our dentists like to think of it as physical therapy, only for the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and face. Our team can show you specific exercises which are designed specifically to train more effective breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing.
Myofunctional Therapy uses techniques to train your body rest naturally, which can help:
Treat mouth breathing
Change your posture while your lips closed
Change your position while your teeth are closed
Change your tongue muscles when resting against the top of your mouth.
Understanding Airway-Focused Dentistry
Airway dentistry is a passion of Dr. Palmer’s, that focuses on the structure of the mouth and impacts your breathing. Our dentists take a big picture and look for sleep-disordered breathing including looking at signs of mouth breathing while you’re sleeping. At Oak Bark Dental our airway dental specialists seek to address airway structure problems using oral appliances, orthodontics, and other minimally invasive dental treatments.
Meet our Myofunctional Therapist – Susie
Susie has been working as a Dental Hygienist for Dr. Palmer since 2008. After graduating from Ferris State University in 1993, she was employed in the Metro Detroit area where she met her husband, Fred. They moved to East Lansing in 1998. Fred and Susie have two children that keep them very busy. Gracie is a freshman at MSU where she plays volleyball. Johnny is a junior at East Lansing High School. He is the Drum Major for the Marching band and plays cello in the Orchestra. Fred and Susie also enjoy walking, riding bicycles and working out together.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Determining that sleep apnea is present is the first step in overcoming it. The following conditions may indicate that you are experiencing sleep apnea:
- Choking sounds (as if you are restarting your breathing pattern)
- Headaches upon waking up
- Falling asleep easily during the day
- Waking up short of breath at night
- Extreme drowsiness
- Insomnia or other difficulty sleeping
Types of Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common form of sleep apnea. It is caused by the airway being blocked, usually when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses during the time that you are asleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This form of sleep apnea occurs when the brain is unable to signal the muscles to act in the way that they need in order for you to breathe. Instability in the respiratory control center may be to blame.
Technology and Treatments
Treatments for sleep apnea range depending on each patient’s case. Basic treatments, such as losing weight, smoking cessation or sleeping on your side, may help subdue sleep apnea. If none of these treatments work, oral devices can be used to position your lower jaw in a way that can prevent your throat from being blocked.
At our practice, we are able to use a few tools to help us determine if you have sleep apnea, such as working with physician’s to conduct sleep studies.
Our dentists and team take continuing education classes and courses to stay up-to-date on technology and techniques that allows Oak Bark Dental to assist you with all of your dental health needs.