There are a number of exercises for head, face and neck muscle strengthening you can perform without FACEXER. Face, head and neck muscles exercises are very important and popular and have been introduced by physicians, dentists, nurses, physical therapists, speech-language pathologist (SLP), chiropractic or just by multiple enthusiasts of this kind of exercises for different reasons – aesthetic or therapeutic. Online you’ll find a lot of information promoting facial exercises for a younger looking appearance; also you’ll find a lot of studies and suggestions that oropharyngeal exercises from speech language pathology, soft palate, tongue and facial muscles exercises as well as stomatognathic function exercises may be an effective therapeutic option for snoring, sleep apnoea, dysphagia, malocclusion etc.
In some instances practicing exercises with FACEXER is not a pre-requisite for achieving results. First of all, we would like to emphasise importance of exercises in general in term of prevention different problems related to weakness of the face, head and neck muscles. For instance, weakness in the muscles of throat, tongue, a misaligned jaw or tension in the jaw muscles leads to snoring, in severe causes - to obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), dysphagia etc. Some therapy techniques of malocclusion and other dental and speech disorders is utilizing muscular exercises of the tongue and lips; most often intended to alter a tongue thrust swallowing pattern . Orthotropics approach in dentistry determined natural growth guidance for both the teeth and jaws, straightening the teeth without turning to extraction or surgery, emphasising proper oral posture.
Periodically FACEXER team is publishing information, related to head, face and neck muscle strengthening from different sources. Please, check our pages and blog for updates frequently.
1. Orthotropics approach in dentistry.
Orthotropics® is an approach to facial growth guidance and preservation of airway space. We introduce information, provided by London School of Facial Orthotropics - presented by Dr. Mike Mew.
2. Orofacial myofunctional therapy.
As this emerging field spreads its wings, it’s important to revisit the foundation that this field is built upon: We are not tongue thrust therapists.
The field of orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) is growing at a rapid pace. Each year, more and more dental and speech professionals are seeking education and incorporating therapy into their practices. It’s exciting to see the amount of new research available to support the role of OMT in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing, ankyloglossia, and temporomandibular joint disorder. But as this emerging field spreads its wings, it’s important to revisit the foundation that this field is built upon. What is the true purpose of the orofacial myologist? What should our primary goal be with each patient that we treat?
Traditionally, orofacial myologists were thought of as tongue thrust therapists. It’s easy to see why. We do help to eliminate tongue thrusting, after all. But here is what we want our patients and colleagues to know: We are not tongue thrust therapists. Tongue thrusting is not the source of an orofacial myofunctional disorder. It’s just happens to be one of easiest symptoms to recognize.
If not tongue thrust therapists, then what?
Orofacial myofunctional therapy could really be considered rest posture therapy. The focus of therapy, whether we are working with sucking habits, tongue ties, or airway issues, is always reestablishing proper oral rest posture. A healthy oral rest posture includes the tongue on the palate, sealed lips, and nasal breathing. There should be about 2–3mm of freeway space between the molars. When patients have good rest posture, there is equilibrium in the orofacial complex. Both form and function are healthy.
When rest posture is altered, we see changes in both muscle function and craniofacial growth. Since the tongue thrust is merely a symptom of a change in tongue posture, we need to address the entire problem. We need to teach the muscle where to rest again.
The reason that rest posture is always more important than swallowing is simple: Teeth are moved by light, constant pressure, not by intermittent heavy forces. Only treating the intermittent heavy force created by tongue thrusting is not treating the source of the problem. This is why cribs and rakes typically do not work. They attempt to block the heavy force of swallowing, which, even when added up, only amounts to about 20 minutes a day. If the tongue is resting low and forward against the teeth and lips are parted for the other 23.5 hours, then we have not addressed the actual problem. The light, constant pressure of the tongue and lips have much more influence on oral equilibrium than tongue thrust ever will.
3. The Buteyko method.
Buteyko Breathing Technique is a form of physical therapy that proposes the use of breathing exercises primarily as a treatment for asthma and other respiratory conditions. (this part of article will be edited, we introduce only one example below)
4. What is OMD?
What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more. Most OMDs originate with insufficient habitual nasal breathing or with oral breathing.
The subsequent adaptation of the muscles and the orofacial functions to a disordered breathing pattern creates many OMDs. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders may impact treatments by orthodontists, dentists, dental hygienists, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals working in the orofacial area.
Some Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) can be, but are not limited to;
| • Tongue Thrust
• Jaw Pain
• Cross Bite
• Nail Biting
| • Short Upper Lip
• Sleep Apnea
• Thumb/finger/tongue sucking
Correct swallowing depends on a proper relationship between muscles of the face, mouth and throat. The act of swallowing is one function that depends on the body’s vital balance. To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together in harmony. When a person swallows normally, the tip of the tongue presses firmly against the roof of the mouth or hard palate, located slightly behind the front teeth. The tongue acts in concert with all the other muscles involved in swallowing. The hard palate, meanwhile, absorbs the force created by the tongue.
Dental Problems related to an OMD
When a person swallows incorrectly, the tip and/or sides of the tongue press against or spread between the teeth. This is commonly called a tongue thrust. Constant pressure from resting or incorrectly thrusting the tongue away from the hard palate may push teeth out of place. That pressure may later prevent teeth from erupting (breaking through the gum). An OMD may lead to an abnormal bite – the improper alignment between the upper and lower teeth known as malocclusion. This problem may lead to difficulties in biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting of food.
Tongue thrust is the act of pushing the tongue against or between the teeth when swallowing.
The constant pressure of the tongue against or between the teeth will not allow the teeth to bite together. This is known as an open bite.
An improper alignment or malocclusion between the upper and lower teeth can lead to difficulties in biting and chewing food.
Speech Problems that may develop from an OMD
A person with abnormal oral muscle patterns may suffer a lisp or have difficulty in articulating sounds.
If muscles in the tongue and lips are incorrectly postured, this can prevent a person from forming sounds of normal speech.
Improper oral muscle function may additionally lead to TMJ dysfunction, headaches, stomach distress (from swallowing air), airway obstruction, and other health challenges.
Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mild to Moderate OSA
Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).
When functioning and used properly, the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face, can reduce obstruction to the airway.
Cosmetic Problems related to an OMD
Often the most obvious symptom of incorrect oral posture involves the muscles of the face. A dull, sluggish appearance and full, weak lips develop when muscles aren’t operating normally. Constantly parted lips (with or without mouth breathing) also signal this disorder. A person swallowing incorrectly will often purse and tighten the muscles of the cheeks, chin and lips – a symptom known as a facial grimace. This can give the chin a knobby appearance because these muscles are being overused.
The face can have a dull sluggish appearance when the muscles are not in proper balance.
An incorrect swallow will purse and tighten the muscles of the cheeks, chin, and lips, causing a facial grimace.
Mouth breathing or constantly open lips is a cause and/or signal of tongue thrust and low tongue rest posture.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) eliminates many of the causes of swallowing abnormalities and improper rest posture of the tongue.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is painless and the exercises are relatively simple. When certain muscles of the face are activated and functioning properly, other muscles will follow suit until proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles is attained. For success in this therapy, consistent exercise every day is necessary until the patient has corrected their improper muscle pattern. It also takes commitment by the patient, family – and time. Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary.
A properly trained myofunctional therapist is one member of the team that will successfully treat an OMD.
Other allied professionals such as dentists, orthodontists, and osteopaths can ensure that the patient’s needs are addressed and handled appropriately.
We feel that the patient needs to be looked at from a variety of approaches in order to be successful in treatment.