Myofunctional Therapy

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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are atypical adaptive patterns that emerge in the absence of normalized breathing patterns within the orofacial complex. Examples of OMDs include one or a combination of the following:

  • Noxious habits which include but are not limited to:

         -Thumb and finger sucking habits

        -Nail biting

        -Hair chewing

  • Open mouth posture
  • Tongue Thrust
  • A forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth

OMDs are often related to, or can contribute to a variety of dental disorders such as:

  •       Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
  •       Periodontal disorders
  •       Orthodontic relapse
  •       Changes associated with abnormal jaw growth and position

Comorbidities can also be present in individuals who have OMDs:

  •          Airway obstruction (ex. enlarged adenoids or deviated septum)
  •         Cleft palate
  •          Down Syndrome
  •          Dysphagia
  •          Sleep Apnea/Sleep-Disordered Breathing
  •          Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
  •          Tethered Oral tissues (buccal, lip or tongue tie)

Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). When functioning and used properly, the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face, can reduce obstruction to the airway. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) eliminates many of the causes of swallowing abnormalities and improper rest posture of the tongue.

It is painless and the exercises are relatively simple. When certain muscles of the face are activated and functioning properly, other muscles will follow suit until proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles is attained.

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