Home / My Blog / Am I Too Old For Myofunctional Therapy?

One of the most common questions I hear in my practice comes from people wondering if they’re too old for myofunctional therapy. This question is often raised in the comments on my YouTube channel and on this website, and I hear it a lot when I first meet with patients for an assessment.

So Who’s Asking If They’re Too Old For Myofunctional Therapy? 

It’s easy to assume that most of the people asking this question would be in their 30’s or even older, particularly those in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s who are dealing with the long-term consequences of oral myofunctional disorders. But strangely enough, this question is actually being asked in many cases by younger people in their teens and 20’s.

Regardless of their age, they’re wondering if they can still get any benefits in terms of health or appearance from doing a myofunctional therapy program.

Am I Too Old For Myofunctional Therapy

Something that’s become clear to me over the years is that there’s a perception out there that myofunctional therapy is only suitable for young children. This is probably because most people know that kids’ faces and skeletal structures are still developing and dramatically changing. This means it’s much easier for their bones to physically remodel when exposed to an external stimulus such as orthodontic treatment or myofunctional therapy.

But so many of my adult patients have had life-changing results from myofunctional therapy. That’s no exaggeration, as you can see from these testimonials and this recent blog post.

Most of the patients in my practice are adults and they definitely get great results. In fact, I’ve had patients in their 70’s get huge changes and benefits in their appearance, health, and feeling of vitality and overall well-being!

Change Is Possible At Any Age

As I explain in the video below, bone is dynamic. While it may seem that our structure is fixed once we reach adulthood, this isn’t the case. Bone is constantly remodeling. That’s why a broken bone will heal and why adults can benefit from orthodontic expansion of their palate. With the right stimulus, change is possible, especially over a longer period of time.

It’s important to note that myofunctional therapy and switching from mouth breathing to nasal breathing can have a noticeable effect on our oral and facial muscles. In fact, any changes to the structure of the jaws and face that may happen as a result of therapy are driven by changes to the functionality and coordination of the relevant muscles. And as I always tell my patients, myofunctional therapy is like physical therapy, just for the muscles of the face and mouth. If it’s possible to benefit from physical therapy at any age, it’s also possible to benefit from myofunctional therapy.

It’s Not All About Appearance

A fair amount of the interest I get around myofunctional therapy is based around cosmetic reasons. This is especially true among younger people but it’s something that I see across the board.

And that makes perfect sense. Most of us have things we’d like to change about our appearance. Oral myofunctional disorders can lead to negative changes in the way we look. People who mouth breathe for example, can develop longer, narrower faces with flatter facial features. They may have a small lower jaw with a less defined chin or turned down corners of the eyes and mouth.

Health Matters A Lot!

Myofunctional therapy can change the way we look but I’m much more focused on the underlying health concerns that go hand in hand with oral myofunctional disorders.

For example, a narrow face indicates a narrow airway, and that’s tied into sleep-related breathing problems. And a mouth breathing habit is a dysfunctional breathing pattern that can also lead to sleep disordered breathing. A low postured tongue or a tongue thrust swallowing pattern are also dysfunctional – that’s just not how the human body is meant to function.

Being in these dysfunctional states can lead to so many different problems with health including sleep apnea and other types of sleep disordered breathing, jaw pain and tension, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances etc.

Once the underlying issues are addressed and true functionality is restored, then we’re on track to make a substantial difference to health and quality of life. That’s what I love about myofunctional therapy and what keeps me passionate about my work.

When I say it’s never too late for myofunctional therapy, what I really mean is that it’s never too late to get healthier. Of course, addressing and treating oral myofunctional disorders early is the best possible approach. After all, prevention is always better than cure, and putting your body in a highly functional state early on sets the stage for a healthy life. But whatever your age, it’s absolutely worth taking care of your health as much as you can.

I hope you enjoy this video:

 
 

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