I see lots of people to help with my health, but a strange thing has happened..
Since Crunch visited me and I've been chewing more on my Munchee, the people I see have started noticing some differences in my body. They seem to be happy with all this... and I'm happy if I don't have to see them as often that's for sure!
The Myo Munchee has a range of applications for health practitioners, particularly those working with the teeth, jaw, cranial system and lips and tongue. We've summarised our beliefs of how the Myo Munchee can assist each profession below. As always, use your own critical thought and evidenced based practice.
As a general overview lecture we have permission from the film maker and Dr Derek Mahony to add a recent short lecture to this section of the site. For those new to these concepts, Dr Mahony presents on "Nature's Orthodontist" at an informal gathering of dental and manual therapists on the Gold coast in 2015. While not specifically about Myo Munchee many of the concepts and ways of viewing practice support the vision of Myo Australia's founder Dr Kevin Bourke.
Orthodontists, Dentists and Oral Hygienists
Dr Kevin Bourke was a dentist and a keen anthropologist who spent a great deal of time researching primitive skulls and jaw/bone structure to try to understand the mechanisms involved in their arch width, enamel wear and apparent lack of caries. His immediate and long term conclusion was that chewing was a prominent activity within the daily tasks of survival and was something that the modern Western peoples lacked, hence the demise in arch form, gum health and the subsequent rise in dental caries and bone recession.
He subsequently developed the Myo Munchee, looking for solutions to gum disease. He came to devise a "chewing brush" made from rubber, featuring the unique internal prongs and he set about testing it on patients. The initial results proved remarkable and he began trialling and researching his appliance in his very busy country practice, over time refining the design and materials including switching to medical grade silicon.
His development ultimately led to his research studies and two of his papers can be found here and here. Dr Bourke undertook a lot of research and development with the University of Osaka in Japan and the materials and designs for the appliances were further refined into today's current model.
We believe the Myo Munchee assists dental practice as follows:
- Dental Hygiene: Alkaline saliva production, stimulation and oxygenation of the gingiva and avelar bone
- Function of the Oro-facial muscles: Muscle tone of the skeletal muscles assisting arch form growth and proportions
- Early interception growth: Promoting nasal breathing, jaw and tongue position
- Assistive orthodontic orthotic: Assists in creating good orthodontic outcomes via muscle function and tongue position
- Adjunct for TMD and headache treatment: Passive jaw positioning and sensorial input, gentle and effective nocturnal support
This is indeed a very brief summary of the uses of Myo Munchee in the dental setting. For further information complete the form below or contact us for a specific enquiry.
The principle of structure being driven by function is the cornerstone of the Myo Munchee as the function of chewing is critical to the structural development and adaptation of the jaw and subsequently tooth alignment. That being said, most chiropractors or osteopaths also understand the relationships between the structure of the jaw and the growth and development of the face and cranial structures, it's inter-relatedness with occlusion, posture, respiration and the dural membranes.
For these professions who work with the cranial system the Myo Munchee provides the perfect adjunct to assist in securing treatment outcomes between patient visits due to the active nature of chewing and subsequent muscular involvement. In addition, nocturnal use provides stability for the jaw, assists nasal respiration and eliminates thumb or pacifier habits all of which are contradictory to improving function of the craniofacial structures.
Chiropractors who do not work with the cranio-sacral system but are concerned with the function of the body as a whole, will recognise the importance of correct TMJ and occlusal alignment on overall posture and on the effect that this has on the body's structure. The Myo Munchee therefore becomes an extremely useful tool as a home based and patient centred adjunct to practice as it promotes ideal function of the structures, tissue and fluids involved in the stomatognathic system.
We believe the Myo Munchee assists chiropractic and osteopathic practice as follows:
- Enhanced stability of the jaw and craniofacial system
- Simple, easy, inexpensive and effective patient involvement between treatments
- Promotion of improved respiration and occlusion which in turn maintain and improve overall posture and alignment of the craniofacial structures.
- Balanced, gentle and effective exercise for crania-facial structures
Physiotherapists are aware more than most professions of the proven benefit and patient outcomes from exercise programs that assist therapy. From this viewpoint, we believe the Myo Munchee is a great adjunctive tool for physiotherapists, particularly those working with children. While there are many proven exercises for backs, core, knees, shoulders etc there is less options available for helping with the muscles of the jaw and face. These muscles are striated skeletal muscles too and must also be exercised to maintain the strength and function critical to facial development.
Many kids today don't utilise these muscles as effectively as they could due to foods being squeezed, processed, softened and pre-packaged, these kinds of foods don't facilitate strong chewing and the jaw and facial muscles can become weak, the tongue thrusts forward, bite opens and mouth breathing can result.
For physios working on posture and structure this is actually critically important due to some forward head posture being driven by airway and breathing problems (see reference paper). To fully correct these kind of imbalances manual therapists must include oro-facial exercise.
Myofunctional Therapy has been proven to assist with this, however protocols and time it takes to deliver these programs mean for a busy therapist this is not always practical in cases who may not need a referral for a full program. This is where the Myo Munchee can become useful as a simple and effective protocol to get kids jaws, lips and tongue stronger with minimal clinical time and input.
Myo Munchee assists in establishing the oral skills necessary for proper speech and feeding development. These skills include: awareness, strength, coordination, movement, and endurance of the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw. The use of facial musculature by way of chewing assists not only development of theses muscles but correct posturing and use of the tongue and improvement in tongue thrusting.
Some of the symptoms which respond well to Myo Munchee therapy are: Dribbling, immature swallow pattern and poor oral motor tone. For those dealing with tongue tie, the Myo Munchee is also very useful for post frenectomy tongue retraining, particularly in 2-5 year olds.
With the targeted muscles and tongue normalising and functioning better, the introduction of traditional speech pathology methods can be more effective as the child's muscular coordination improves. Many speech pathologists have utilised the Myo Munchee with their patients with great success over many years, including those with special needs.
The Myo Munchee has been used for many years by Myofunctional Therapists globally. We don't believe the Myo Munchee to be a replacement for individualised Myofunctional programs, however we feel the device is an incredibly useful adjunctive tool especially for families on a budget or where a full Myofunctional program may not be warranted or available.
The Myo Munchee acts on the muscles globally and requires coordination of the tongue, facial muscles and breathing simultaneously. While this is not the specificity required by an individualised Myofunctional program, it can be a great tool once the patient is dismissed from therapy. Alternatively, while in therapy it can be used to integrate week to week changes with total gross motor control and function. The device is particularly useful at the conclusion of a program and is so simple and quick to use, providing ongoing benefit without input from a practitioner.