Treatment for Orthodontic Relapse or Tongue Thrust

Myofunctional therapy is a type of physical therapy that focuses on correcting the improper oral habits that lead to an abnormal bite (malocclusion). Myofunctional therapy involves training the patient with a customized oral appliance known as a myofunctional orthotic (MFO). For children, a myofunctional therapy treatment involves helping your child correct improper habits and improving his or her oral functions. The therapy involves exercises that aim at correcting jaw positioning, tongue posture, and breathing habits.

Myofunctional therapy can address the underlying causes of malocclusion, such as tongue thrusting, poor oral habits, and incorrect swallowing patterns. When these underlying issues are corrected, malocclusion can be resolved.

What Is Tongue Thrusting?

Tongue thrusting is the incorrect positioning of the tongue during speech, swallowing, and resting. It can affect the function of the tongue, teeth, and jaw. Tongue thrusting may lead to several dental problems, including:

  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing

What Are the Signs of Orthodontic Relapse?

If your previous orthodontist has told you that your orthodontic treatment was unsuccessful or is recurring, Myofunctional therapy may help.

One of the most common signs of relapse is pain. Pain can occur when the muscles surrounding the tooth are sore from shifting. This pain may be felt in the jaw joint or near the ears.

Myofunctional Therapy and Orthodontic Relapse / Tongue Thrust

If your orthodontic treatment has failed and your teeth are shifting back to their original position, you may need myofunctional therapy. It can correct these shifts by improving muscle function and correcting oral habits.

The tongue posture will be correct after the myofunctional therapy, and the muscles of the orofacial complex will be in balance. Because of this, there’s a much higher chance that the outcome of orthodontic treatment will be stable over the long term.

How to Stop Tongue Thrusting

Here are some helpful tips for stopping tongue thrusting:

  • Focus on “tongue tip to the back of teeth” rather than “tongue tip to the roof of the mouth.”
  • Don’t use pacifiers, bottles, or sippy cups.
  • Use “finger blocks” to keep fingers out of your mouth.
  • Avoid thumb sucking.
  • Don’t bite on objects or fingers.
  • Don’t chew on objects such as pencils, pens, or fingernails.

Please schedule an appointment online or email us at to have a consultation with our team,in Portland, ORand we will be happy to help.



11575 SW Pacific Hwy Ste 135, Tigard, OR 97223

Phone: (503) 367-9440

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Call or Text Us: (503) 367-9440