The inaugural congress of the Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences, a new international scientific society, will be held September 9–13, 2015, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This article will discuss the meeting and some of the new research in this field of study.
The field of myofunctional therapy, officially within the scope of practice for dental hygienists in most states since 1992, has been gaining much greater attention across many disciplines. In particular, powerful new research showing strong efficacy in working with patients with obstructive sleep apnea, considered an epidemic by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, will create much greater awareness of the field. (1) The just-published meta-analysis in the widely read journal of sleep medicine, SLEEP, concludes, “Current literature demonstrates that myofunctional therapy decreases apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children.” (2) This will, without doubt, lead to much greater demand for knowledge and clinicians trained in this field.
This gathering will host the largest-ever gathering of leaders in the field of myofunctional therapy. More than 30 speakers from a dozen countries will present groundbreaking research, courses, and advanced therapeutic techniques. Beyond myofunctional therapy’s applications in sleep medicine, topics such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD), frenum inspection and surgery, fascia, breathing reeducation, orthognathic surgery, orthodontic stability, posture, muscle function, periodontal disease, craniofacial growth, and others will be explored through presentations, symposia, panels, and posters.
A fundraising gala will be held at the Oviatt Penthouse where AAMS Board Member and Stanford School of Medicine’s Christian Guilleminault (father of and most-cited researcher in the field of sleep medicine) will be honored with the AAMS Hippocrates Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medicine. Dr. Guilleminault’s keynote will call for myofunctional therapy to become a future standard of care and will present new, never-presented research. Funds will be raised for a new multisite, multinational, randomized, controlled trial, and a broad public health initiative to educate dental hygienists and speech pathologists nationwide on myofunctional disorders and clinical markers for obstructive sleep apnea.
The AAMS was created to help further research, set standards, and create public health initiatives to advance myofunctional therapy worldwide. To prepare for this congress, the AAMS has helped establish and further federated scientific societies around the world in Peru, France, Belgium, Spain, Scandinavia, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Japan, and developing areas in Korea, China, United Kingdom, Germany, and elsewhere, all of which will be participating in the congress.
Elsevier, a world leader in scientific and medical journal and textbook publishing will publish a special edition journal, along with the World Association of Sleep Medicine’s journal Sleep Medicine, in honor of the founding of the society, representing a coming of age of the field.
This represents a novel opportunity for dental hygienists who desire to learn more about these areas or for those looking to augment their current knowledge in the field.
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1. World Association of Sleep Medicine “World Sleep Day” website: http://worldsleepday.org/2015s-slogan/.
2. Camacho M, Certal V, Abdullatif J, et al. Myofunctional therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep 2015 1; 38(5):669-675. Epub 2015 May 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.4652.