Myofunctional Research Co. (MRC) unveiled its new Myotalea® treatment system to an audience of over 170,000 people at the 38th International Dental Show in Cologne, Germany in late March.
"Sleep disordered breathing was a hot topic at IDS 2019 and the newly released Myotalea range of myofunctional treatment modalities is MRC's latest innovation in the management of sleep-related breathing disorders," said Mr Daniel Smith, MRC Operations Manager. "Myotalea will provide dental practitioners with an easily implementable treatment approach which aims to address malocclusion, TMJ disorder and dysfunctional breathing under one treatment system.
"The appliances are specifically designed for patients who present symptoms of sleep-related breathing disorders as well as poor muscle tone in the tongue, lip, jaw, throat or pharyngeal areas. Myotalea treatment focuses on strengthening these underused muscles and aids in the patient's transition from mouth breathing to nasal breathing."
The demand for myofunctional therapy
Modern research indicates myofunctional therapy can serve as an effective treatment method for sleep-related breathing disorders.
Current literature demonstrates that myofunctional therapy decreases the apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children. Lower oxygen saturations, snoring and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults. Myofunctional therapy could serve as an adjunct to other obstructive sleep apnoea treatments.1
MRC CEO and Founder Dr Chris Farrell believes the Myotalea treatment modality is a gamechanger in the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders. "Extensive research indicated that correcting mode of breathing and strengthening the throat and pharyngeal muscles is an effective method of addressing sleep-related breathing disorders," Dr Farrell said.
"It's not just the size of the airway that is causing the issue, but rather the collapsibility of the upper airway which is heavily influenced by the pharyngeal wall and supra-hyoid muscle tone."
The combination of active appliance wear and myofunctional exercise programs has rendered better results for patients who present symptoms such as insufficient strength of the throat and pharyngeal muscles as well as collapsibility of the upper airway, which are typically linked with sleep-related breathing disorders. "We developed an active myofunctional sleep appliance range to counteract aberrant muscle activity and retrain the breathing habits which can restrict the upper airway," Dr Farrell said.
"The lack of pharyngeal and supra-hyoid muscle strength that are causative factors of airway collapsibility can also be addressed with head tilt variations in our myofunctional exercise programs."
The Myotalea range includes the TLJ, TLP and Lip Trainer appliances. The revolutionary Myotalea TLJ is an active myofunctional appliance used for strengthening the tongue and lips, as well as exercising the jaw joint muscles. Use of the TLJ appliance is intended to be combined with myofunctional exercises which are designed to target the throat and pharyngeal muscles that are typically weak in patients who show symptoms of sleep-related breathing disorders.
The Myotalea TLP appliance was the precursor to the TLJ and works in a similar way, minus the TMJ exercises. It is intended to serve as a treatment option for practitioners who are not licensed to prescribe intraoral appliances but still want to improve strength in the areas of the lip, tongue and pharyngeal muscles. The TLP also allows for an integrative treatment approach in conjunction with the Myobrace® and Myosa® systems.
The Myotalea Lip Trainer is designed to achieve an adequate lip seal and improve tone around the orbicularis oris muscles. Coupling the Lip Trainer is the Lip Seal Trainer, which is an attachment designed to improve lip posture and encourage perioral muscle training. The LT and LST appliances allow for single-use or dual-purpose use depending on the patient's needs.
MRC is actively involved in multicentred research programs for Myotalea, Myosa and Myobrace which will be published in the near future.