Goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
The goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) are to improve nasal breathing, ensure proper tongue posture, maintain swallowing patterns and attain a healthy lip seal by retraining and strengthening the muscles of the face, lips, tongue and jaw.
It is a non-invasive, exercise-based therapy and one of the best ways to correct orofacial myofunctional disorders.
Myofunctional disorders can include:
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Tongue thrust
- Misaligned teeth
- Sleep Apnea
- Facial discomfort
- Speech impairments
- Mouth breathing
For people who do not have Myofunctional Oral Disorders things like breathing through the nose, keeping lips tightly sealed and swallowing properly are easy habits to maintain. For those with MODs it can be quite a challenge.
Challenges Such As:
Most myofunctional disorders start at a young age. Children who have struggled with allergies, enlarged tonsils and adenoids quickly learn to breathe through their mouths. Did you know we actually use a different set of muscles to breathe through the mouth than we do to breathe through the nose?
So, what happens to the muscles that aren’t being used? Think about a broken arm. Six week after the cast comes off those muscles in the arm need rehabilitation to regain strength and proper function. The same for the muscles in the face.
Prolonged thumb sucking or use of pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups can change how the tongue is supposed to rest in the mouth. Instead of resting in the roof of the mouth, it thrusts forward against or through the teeth, especially when swallowing. This leads to shifting of teeth, speech impairment, abnormal growth of the jaws and face and/or digestive disorders.
Can Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Work For Children?
Absolutely! The Myofunctional therapist will do a comprehensive evaluation and create a treatment plan tailored to meet each child or adult’s individual needs, keeping in mind the goals of Myofunctional Therapy.
Typically, treatment will include three to four exercises, designed to target specific orofacial muscle groups. Patients practice these exercises twice a day to achieve the best results. The good news is that the exercises only take about five or six minutes to complete.
Along with the exercises, the therapist will help you develop an awareness of orofacial patterns and habits.
For more information on Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy contact Southwest Myofunctional Therapy at (505) 218-6565