Angela Zappone 206-498-7763
Dental Hygienist, Myofunctional Therapist, Craniosacral Therapist, Birth Doula & Nutrition Counselor, Angie has 33+ yrs of healthcare experience. She addresses orofacial myofunctional disorders, tension & pain uniquely and comprehensively, using Myofunctonal therapy and when needed, gentle craniosacral fascial release.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is highly specialized exercise therapy for the mouth, face, throat and jaws (or orofacial complex). The goal is to help the orofacial muscles and tongue to optimally function together. Correct swallow is dependent upon the lips, tongue, throat, and facial muscles working in concert to gather food and properly suction, sweep, and swallow.
Improper muscle patterns, strain, and dysfunctions in the muscles of the face, jaw and throat can develop, we call these Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs). OMDs can significantly interfere with normal function, and the growth and development of the mouth, jaws, face, lips, tongue and airway. The forces of orofacial soft tissue and muscles have a direct influence on jaw growth and development,
The inability to properly breathe through the nose is one the most common causes of orofacial myofunctional disorders, and can affect the development of the jaws, face and airway itself! Mouth open breathing posture does not allow for the tongue to correctly rest up on the palate to aid in guiding growth of the upper jaw and airway!
Another significant factor in OMDs is a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) that restricts ideal tongue resting position, movement & function. Other common contributors are habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier and tippy cup use, genetics, and more..
Myofunctional therapy helps correct these bad habits and incorrect muscle patterns that have developed to compensate when OMDs are present. We use specific exercises and neuromuscular re-training to teach the tongue, lips and orofacial muscles to properly function in rest and during breath and swallow. .
The location of your tongue at rest and proper nasal breathing are critical in helping guide the growth of the jaws, airway and facial development. Addressing ideal lip seal, tongue resting posture, correct swallow pattern and proper nasal breathing is a core part of orofacial myofunctional therapy.
As a dental hygienist, craniosacral and myofunctional therapist, Angie identifies these abnormal muscle strain & bite patterns and uses a combination of myofunctional therapy exercises & craniosacral release to relieve strain, and strengthen, balance and optimize the muscles of the tongue, cheeks, face and throat. Myofunctional therapy helps tone, strengthen and balance the orofacial muscles and tongue to optimize function and support proper mouth and tongue resting position, swallow, chewing and breath.
Angie also evaluates unusual muscle strain patterns of the orofacial complex and gently releases facial tensions using craniosacral therapy to help ease TMJ, muscle and fascia strain of the head, face and neck. Muscle strain and TMJ dysfunction are common with orofacial myofunctional disorders. A key outward sign of OMDs and restrictive tongue-tie is actually a chronic head-forward muscle strain pattern! Craniosacral Therapy as an adjunctive therapy to myofunction sessions can greatly help abnormal tension patterns to relax and release, often helping alleviate tensions and pain. Angie offers both modalities included in her myofunctonal therapy appointments!
It often takes a team to address and treat OMDs. Angie frequently collaborates with other specialized healthcare practitioners to help optimize orofacial health and development. She has a great team of specialists she works with, such as ENTs, Sleep and Speech Therapist, Dentists & Orthodontists, Physical Therapist, and more. Working together with a supportive team of doctors and therapist allows the greatest possible outcome when addressing OMDs and aiding in proper orofacial growth, development and function!
The Impact of Orofacial myofunctional Disorders
The tongue and all the muscles of the orofacial complex must be working properly together to eat, drink, swallow and even breathe correctly. If they are not, bad habits and muscle tensions develop that can affect function, growth and development, comfort, physical appearance, airway and ideal breathing, .
The adverse effects of OMDs can be wide ranging OMDs may significantly disrupt normal skeletal development of the face, jaws, and airway. OMDs may lead to problems with breathing and quality oxygen intake, focus, and concentration, latching and breast feeding, chewing, swallowing, nutrition, digestion, jaw and teeth alignment, TMJ pain and dysfunction, periodontal disease, and facial aesthetics and normal speech.
Not addressing orofacial myofunctional disorders can adversely influence the outcome of orthodontic treatment. The incorrect positioning of the tongue at rest, abnormal muscle tensions and other OMDs are likely a significant contributing factor to dental development, and malocclusion. Diagnosing and addressing these critical contributing factors are important to achieve the best orthodontic outcome possible. Myofunctional therapy does just that! We thoroughly examine orofacial form and function and address the issues to retrain unhealthy patterns and optimize your orofacial health and development. Unfortunately medical, dental and dental hygiene schools still do not address orofacial myofunctional disorders and their influence on malocclusion, airway, feeding, TMJ dysfunction and dental/orofacial development, so they often get missed. Thankfully, this is changing as more research in the field becomes available.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders affect more than just the head and neck. There is a solid correlation between OMDs and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in kids and adults, as well as chronic exhaustion, ADD/ADHD, digestive issues, forward head and neck posture, and tensions in the shoulders, head and neck that can potentially affect the entire spine & pelvis. I work with two Physical Therapist that specialize in the sacrum and pelvic floor. They frequently refer clients to me for craniosacral therapy to address TMJ/Jaw tension that's causing pain & discomfort related to the connection of the jaw-spine-pelvis!
Sleep issues can cause significant health issues. Underdeveloped jaws and airway can be a cause of sleep apnea. Remember the roof of the mouth or palate is also the base of the sinuses The airway is part of the orofacial structure. If you suspect you or your child has sleep issues, it is important to get them into an airway educated doctor or dentists asap to be evaluated. We often let chronic sinus congestion or snoring in children go untreated, but chronic mouth breathing is a significant contributor to sleep issues and orofacial myofunctional disorders and can influence how the jaw and teeth grow and develop.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy has been shown in literature to improve oxygen levels in mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It was shown to decrease the "apnea-hypopnea" (measurement of severity of obstructive sleep apnea) by 50% in adults and 62% in children!
Angie brings 33 plus years of healthcare experience, and her unique perspective from the dental, myofunctional, pediatric, craniosacral, child birth, research, and nutrition professions to each and every appointment. She has experienced OMDs and airway issues with her own family, and worked with challenging cases in each of her fields. As a dental hygienist, orofacial myofunctional therapist and craniosacral therapist, she understands how the fascia in the orofacial complex interconnects with the body as a whole, and the importance of looking at the entire picture when evaluating orofacial myofunctional disorders and their effects on the head, mouth & neck, as well as other areas influenced by interconnected fascia. Angie also evaluates each clients breathing patterns, looking for correct nasal breathing and abdominal breath. She has been doing breath-work in meditation for 25 years, and is ecstatic to finally see medical research coming out on the importance of nose breathing to overall health and brain function!
Angie integrates all of her unique specialties into her orofacial myofunctional therapy appointments. She thoroughly investigate the individual's Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder, and evaluates habits, nasal breathing function, tongue, bite and dental alignment, and orofacial structures along with other issues contributing to the dysfunction. She then designs a personalized treatment plan to retrain and re-educate the muscles and neuromuscular communication of the orofacial complex. Because she develops a personalized plan, she does not give a timeline until after the initial evaluation. She has clients who only need a few visits, and those who may take 6 -12 months. At least Twice daily home practice is recommended for the best results! The goal is to establish new healthy patterns, which over time become the norm.
Angie looks at each of her clients holistically and integrates craniosacral therapy into her myofunctional sessions. When orofacial myofunctional disorders are present, proper swallowing and breathing patterns are difficult. Other muscles will compensate to help in swallowing and breathing, often creating adverse tensions in the fascia, TMJ, and muscle strain. Fascia is basically a large sheet covering & connecting the body, so tension in one area can have deleterious effects in other areas. This is particularly true when a significant frenum or tongue tie is present.
Craniosacral therapy is usually recommended by airway-educated dentists and myofunctional therapist. The release of adverse fascial and muscle tensions helps with neuromuscular reeducation, relaxation, fluidity and detoxification, TMJ tensions, and general relief of the head and neck. Angie feels craniosacral therapy can significantly enhances myofunctional therapy's success, so she includes 3 free craniosacral visits in her myofunctional program, saving you time and money.
Oral habits such as thumb sucking, pen or blanket chewing and atypical breathing patterns and eating patterns must also be evaluated. Angie has a team of ENTs, Airway Centric Dentists and Orthodontists, Chiropractors, PTs and even sacrum and pelvic floor specialists she refers to if needed. She loves the collaboration and gladly works with your other healthcare providers to help you achieve the best results!
Total Therapy Cost Vary Based On the Severity and Complexity Of The Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and Duration of Treatment. 6-12 month is average, visits recommended. Initially few visits - weekly. But then twice a month.
Limited therapy to prepare for tongue-tie release (Frenectomy)
This website and the information therein is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition or disease, it is for information only. We recommend before pursuing any healthcare therapy or treatment that you seek the advice of your primary licensed health care provider.
Feel free to reach out with any questions or inquiries you might have.
11416 Slater Avenue Northeast, Kirkland, Washington 98033, United States