What is Myofunctional Therapy?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) uses a combination of facial and tongue exercises to improve one's facial posture, bite, breathing, and also ultimately aesthetics. OMT achieves this by naturally training the tongue and muscles in the face to promote proper tongue positioning which optimizes breathing, chewing, swallowing, speech, and overall health.
Habits formed in infancy and early childhood can affect the arrangement, development, and function of the musculoskeletal system, so it is ideal to work on developing more natural habits that result in a more biological alignment of the jaw and teeth as you grow. OMT behavior modification techniques aim to guide the tongue, facial muscles, and jaw into more desirable and "prototypical" positions.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders characterized by interference from the facial muscles and jaw that negatively impact the ability to practice correct eating, talking, and breathing. These disorders are most commonly recognized when there is an abnormal positioning of the lips or tongue, or functions of chewing, swallowing, or speech. You may also see this in pro-longed oral habits, like thumb or finger sucking. Allergies or enlarged tonsils may also lead to OMDs as they cause one to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose.
Why Myofunctional Therapy?
- It is cost-effective and convenient
- Basic bodily functions can be improved
- It provides long-term cosmetic benefits
Training the soft tissues of the face, neck, and mouth help these tissues to function at the height of their ability. When we work to strengthen the range of motion of the tongue, jaw, lips, and other orofacial muscles, we might also resolve additional issues related to jaw pain, posture, orthodontic relapse, and neck tension.
Who benefits from Myofunctional Therapy?
We see patients of all ages, beginning therapy from anywhere as early as the toddler years to well into senior age. Young children may see the extra benefit of correcting prolonged pacifier use or a thumb sucking habit that was formed during infancy, thus decreasing the extent of orthodontic treatment needed in the future. Adults suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), neck pain, headaches, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and sleep apnea can all benefit from therapy.
Our goal with your commitment to OMT
- We will create a unique program of regular exercises designed specifically for you
- Through training we aim to achieve optimal functioning of your subconscious musculoskeletal system:
- Your lips will rest together rather than apart
- Your tongue will rest on the roof of your mouth
- You will primarily breathe through the nose