Introducing a new paradigm in Myofunctional Therapy

Current literature demonstrates that myofunctional therapy decreases apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children. Lowest oxygen saturations, snoring, and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults. Myofunctional therapy could serve as an adjunct to other obstructive sleep apnea treatments.1


Myofunctional Research Co. (MRC) introduced the Myobrace® Activities in 2010 to improve the effectiveness and complement The Myobrace® System with a series of simplified breathing, tongue, lip and swallowing exercises. Although the Myobrace® and Myosa® systems both address the establishment of nasal breathing, correct lip and tongue posture, and have also been shown to improve function of the oral musculature2, they have been less effective in improving the strength of these muscles.


A frequent finding in patients presenting for orthodontic treatment, Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction and Breathing Disordered Sleep (BDS) is weakness in the muscles of the tongue, lip and jaw.3 Insufficient tone and collapsibility of the upper airway (pharyngeal and supra-hyoid) muscles are also common findings in BDS.4


Myofunctional Therapy (MFT) techniques have been used to address these problems and whilst MFT is effective, it has the same inefficiencies of the past, in particular poor compliance and unpredictable results.5


Mouth breathing is the major cause of
malocclusion, TMJ and Sleep Disorders.


REFERENCES:
1. Camacho M, et al. Sleep. 2015 May 1;38(5):669-75
2. Uysal T, et al. Eur J Orthod. 2012 Feb;34(1):96-101
3. Gelb M. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2014 Aug;42(8):551-62; discussion 560-2
4. Marcus CL. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1994 Aug;77(2):918-24
5. Huang YS, et al. Sleep Med Clin. 2019 Mar;14(1):135-142
6. Steele CM. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 May 15;179(10): 858-9


Any treatment modality that attempts to correct malocclusion, TMJ and BDS must incorporate the improvement of muscle strength and tone as part of the treatment provided.


MRC's Myofunctional Tongue and Lip Exercise Appliances (Myotalea®) have been designed to improve the strength of the lip, tongue, jaw and supra-hyoid muscles simultaneously, in one integrated system.


In addition, for the first time, the lack of pharyngeal and supra-hyoid muscle strength that are causative factors of airway collapsibility, can now be addressed with the head tilt variation exercise of the TLJ and TLP appliances.


Obstructive sleep apnea results from decreased upper airway muscle tone during sleep and associated collapsibility of the muscles in the hypopharynx. The genioglossus, an extrinsic tongue protrusive muscle, has been especially implicated.6


The world's first Active Myofunctional Intra-Oral Appliance

Patients with malocclusion, BDS, TMJ Disorders and craniofacial growth problems all have insufficient strength in the tongue, lip and jaw muscles. These muscles are important for optimum growth and function of the patient. Targeted exercises are needed to correct the muscle weakness that results from years of disuse.


The Myotalea® TLJ appliance is the world's first active intra-oral myofunctional appliance, designed to specifically strengthen the tongue, lip, jaw, pharyngeal and supra-hyoid muscles.


With the advent of the Myotalea® TLJ, an option now exists for practitioners to improve lip seal, tongue, pharyngeal and supra-hyoid muscle strength as well as the transition to nasal breathing in one easy to use, integrative appliance system.



Appliance Features

  • The Lip Press Tube strengthens the lip muscles, which improves lip seal and therefore promotes nasal breathing.
  • The Tongue Press Tube improves tongue strength and posture.
  • TMJ Air Springs improve function of the TMJ and associated muscles.
  • The Myo Variable Opening Sleep Aperture (MYOVOSA®) helps to transition the patient from mouth to nasal breathing.

Applications

  • Used throughout Myosa® treatment for children and adults.
  • Used during Myobrace® breathing and tongue activities.
  • Used as an adjunct to myofunctional therapy when lip, tongue, jaw and pharyngeal muscle strength is needed.
  • Head tilt variation improves strength of the supra-hyoid and pharyngeal muscles.


The Myotalea® TLJ positioned in a patient's mouth.


MYOVOSA® for the chronic mouth breathing patient

Patients who are chronic mouth breathers may sometimes find it difficult to retain their Myobrace® and Myosa® appliances overnight. A new feature presented with the Myotalea® TLJ appliance enables the practitioner to effectively treat these patients before Myobrace® and Myosa® appliances are used.


The MYOVOSA® feature in the TLJ appliance enables chronic mouth breathers to transition to nose breathing by intermittently closing their lips on the aperture, while the TLJ opens the airway by advancing the mandible and variably opening the bite. If used for this purpose, the TLJ is prescribed for 1 hour per day while awake. 1-2 months of daily use will permit the chronic mouth breathing patient to retain the Myobrace® or Myosa® appliance overnight.