Myofunctional Therapy

Speech-Language Pathologist located in Palm Desert, CA

Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional Therapy

Weak oral and facial muscles affect people of all ages, making it hard to speak clearly, eat properly, and breathe. Oksana DerDerian, MS, CCC-SLP, and the team at Desert Speech LLC in Rancho Mirage, California, provide myofunctional therapy to strengthen the orofacial muscles, improving a person’s speaking, eating, and breathing abilities. Call Desert Speech LLC or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about myofunctional therapy and how it can benefit you.

Myofunctional Therapy Q & A

What should I know about myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy focuses on strengthening the muscles in the face and mouth. It’s used to treat orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD), an abnormal positioning of the lip, jaw, or tongue that affects speaking, eating, and breathing.

When you have abnormal positioning of the tongue, lip, or jaw, it affects orofacial muscle development, changing normal movements of the muscles in the mouth. These changes affect how someone speaks, eats, and breathes.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that collapses the muscles in the back of the throat, blocking the airway passage so that you stop breathing while you sleep. Researchers theorize that people with OSA suffer from weak orofacial muscles caused by OMD.

Myofunctional therapy’s goal is to restore normal positioning of the lips, jaw, or tongue to improve orofacial muscle structure and function. The Desert Speech LLC team offers myofunctional therapy.


My child snores. Should I consider myofunctional therapy?

Snoring is one symptom of OMD and sleep apnea and affects people of all ages, including children. The Desert Speech LLC team thoroughly evaluates your child’s orofacial muscle movement and structure to determine if they might benefit from myofunctional therapy.

Other symptoms of OMD include:

  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Tongue pushing past the teeth when speaking or eating
  • Difficulty pronouncing “s,” “sh,” and “j” sounds
  • Problems closing lips

People with blocked nasal passages brought on by allergies or large tonsils are at greater risk of developing OMD.


What happens during myofunctional therapy?

The Desert Speech LLC team takes a personalized approach to care. After completing the initial evaluation, the team creates a plan to strengthen the oral and facial muscles and improve the tongue’s position.

Myofunctional therapy can include exercises like tongue touches and tongue presses. Inflating a balloon is also a myofunctional exercise.

Myofunctional therapy at Desert Speech LLC uses age-appropriate exercises that you do at the office and at home. With consistency, you should see improvements in speaking, eating, and breathing within a few months.

Call Desert Speech LLC or schedule an appointment online to learn more about myofunctional therapy.