Practicing myofunctional orthodontics successfully requires a good understanding of soft tissue dysfunction. The principles behind soft tissue dysfunction are quite basic. If the tongue is resting naturally in the maxilla and the patient breathes through their nose, good arch-form normally follows. If the tongue is not resting in the maxilla and the patient breathes through their mouth, then the arch is more likely to be narrow, and crowding is likely to occur.
Soft Tissue Dysfunction
Understanding Soft Tissue Dysfunction
The lips and tongue can also influence the arch-form and cause crowding. The reciprocal action of the tongue and contracting of the lip and cheek muscles when swallowing can create a reverse swallowing pattern which can cause crowding.
The primary aim of addressing soft tissue dysfunction is to get the tongue sitting naturally in the maxilla, and for the patient to close their mouth and breathe through their nose.