Joy Moeller holding her book


Her training is extensive. She graduated from the Myofunctional Therapy Institute in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1980 and had an extensive Internship in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. Joy’s background of Dental Hygiene led the way for further studies, and she has taught and continues to teach principles of Myofunctional Therapy to graduate and post-graduate students and numerous universities as a guest speaker. Some of those are UCLA School of Dentistry, USC, Cerritos College, Guttenberg University in Mainz, Germany, University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, University of Freiburg, Germany, Physical therapy groups, Speech Pathologists, Orthodontists, Dentists and Hygienists. She formerly taught at UCLA in the Sleep Medicine Mini-Residency Program and Oral Pain, for seven years.

This is a story that must be told and a therapeutic practice that must be made available to our entire population. It dramatically alters people’s lives. I have been practicing for 30 years and have seen remarkable transformations in the health of my patients.

My Life’s Passion

Helping people learn how to chew, breathe, swallow, and sleep correctly and eliminate oral habits that stop this process.

I began because my son had the problem and I saw his ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) issues, headaches, and TMJ (jaw) pain stop. I was a dental hygienist and I decided to learn and study everything I could in the field. I have seen so many patients having surgery after surgery, taking many medications, and generally receiving unsatisfactory health care and suffering immensely.

I was a dental hygienist and I decided to learn and study everything I could in the field. I have seen so many patients having surgery after surgery, taking many medications, and generally seeking the wrong type of health care and suffering immensely.

I now practice in Pacific Palisades, California and I am one of the few who teach courses in the treatment of this disorder. I will do anything to get this valuable treatment option out to the public because I have seen unbelievable changes occur in the health of my patients and millions could be helped.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy has been known by the scientific community since the early 1900’s. Currently, this emerging therapeutic treatment has become professionalized with a training program available to speech pathologists, dental hygienists, dentists and physicians. Unfortunately, however, most people and even physicians or dentists, are unaware that this life-enhancing therapy even exists.

Most babies are born with a natural ability to latch on to the breast and feed. In order to do this, their tongue comes forward and upward which is a normal pattern for infants.

Usually at age 1 to 3, the teeth erupt and the baby stops breastfeeding and learns how to drink and eat and the tongue finds roof of the mouth and reverses direction. Sometimes this natural progression is altered and a whole series of problems may develop.

The current Scope of Practice in the United States for Myofunctional Therapy is:
  • Abnormal non-nutritive sucking habits (thumb, finger, pacifier etc)
  • Other detrimental orofacial habits
  • Abnormal orofacial rest posture problems
  • Abnormal neuromuscular muscle patterns associated with inappropriate mastication, bolus formation, and deglutition

  • Abnormal functional breathing patterns

  • Abnormal swallowing patterns

  • Abnormal speech patterns (only if the therapist has the speech-language pathology credentials required by his/her State, Province or Country)

Treatment is non-invasive, inexpensive, and it may address the cause of many problems, instead of the symptoms. There are five parts to the treatment:
  • Habit elimination therapy done with rewards and behavior modification
  • A series of therapy exercises which improve nasal breathing and oral facial functions
  • Promoting proper chewing and swallowing
  • Re-patterning head and neck posture problems
  • Generalization and habituation of the new muscle pattern
What causes myofunctional disorders?

Researchers used to think it was bottle feeding. Now many therapists feel it is also mouth breathing or oral habits such as thumb sucking or overuse of a pacifier or Sippy cup. Also, a short frenum (the string that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth) may be the cause.

Swallowing disorders or tongue thrusting may be associated with overwhelming number of problems
  • Crooked teeth or orthodontic relapse
  • Headaches
  • TMJD (jaw joint) pain
  • Forward head posture
  • Digestive disorders such as acid reflex or stomachaches from air swallowing
  • Sleep and breathing disorders
  • Oral lesion from tongue irritation
  • Gum disease
  • Psychological problems
  • Failure to thrive and other child development problems
  • Middle ear drainage issues
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Drooling
  • Habits, such as nail biting, thumb sucking, hair chewing, lip or cheek biting

I welcome the opportunity to discuss the problem and the solutions further. The public must learn what this life-altering therapy can do.

Joy Moeller has worked in private practice as a Myofunctional Therapist since 1980:

Joy’s extensive training includes graduating from the Myofunctional Therapy Institute in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1980, completing an extensive internship in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, and working in various settings including:
  • Children’s Hospital, San Diego, California
  • Temporal Mandibular Joint Therapy Clinic
  • Orthodontist Offices
  • Pediatric Dental Offices
  • Associate Professor, Indiana University
  • Public School System as Health Educator
  • Chiropractic Office
  • ENT Office
Joy teaches Myofunctional Therapy to graduate and post-graduate students at various universities as an adjunct professor and guest speaker:
  • UCLA School of Dentistry
  • USC
  • Cerritos College
  • Guttenberg University in Mainz, Germany
  • University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium
  • University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Physical therapy groups
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Orthodontists, Dentists and Hygienists

And the award goes to…

Joy has garnered numerous accolades and recognition for her achievements.

Lifetime Achievement Award

From the AAPMD (American Academy of Physiologic Medicine and Dentistry), where she has been a board member for over 10 years.

Louis Pasteur Award for Lifetime Achievement

From the AAMS (Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences) for Courage and Advancing Medicine in the World.

Richard Barrett Award

From the IAOM (International Association of Orofacial Myology) for contributions in orofacial myology research. Award received September 2023.

Joy’s professional experience.

Work includes lecturer, training, affiliations, publications, and more.

Joy’s Values.

Joy Moeller is a distinguished Myofunctional Therapist, recognized both nationally and internationally for her expertise and leadership in the field.

Patient First

I am a founding member of the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. This Academy is a leading, comprehensive mini-residency training for post-graduate health care providers wanting to become Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists. Our mission is to offer the best foundation for health professionals to learn this critical therapy and bring its benefits to those who need it. We offer a 59 HOUR on line and live virtual course plus on-going support and continuing education three times a week.

Our goal is to have every student successful at developing a clinically and financially great practice. We offer further on-going assistance via the Internet with professional problems you may have. We also offer internships and study club meetings. We also have a networked referral system for receiving new patients from doctors in your area. We schedule several courses throughout the year at various locations across the USA.

Schedule an appointment!

Contact us for an evaluation and embark on your journey with Myofunctional Therapy today.