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Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) For Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Posted by Megan Van Noy on Sep 15 2022, 12:52 AM

Orofacial myofunctional disorders negatively affect the health and function of the muscles in the lips, face, and jaw. As a result, patients may experience a variety of problems, including the following:

  • Difficulty properly chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
  • Difficulty biting and chewing tough foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Open-mouth posture, chronic mouth breathing, and mouth-breathing habits.
  • Malocclusion, a condition in which the teeth do not meet properly when the mouth is closed.
  • Teeth grinding, clenching, and TMJ disorder.
  • Sleep apnea, a condition in which the patient has pauses in breathing while sleeping.
  • Sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring.
  • Chronic facial pain or discomfort.

Why Is It Important To Address Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

When left untreated, orofacial myofunctional disorders can lead to a number of oral health concerns. These disorders include:

  • Bruxism - Also called teeth grinding, bruxism results in serious dental damage. Grinding teeth can wear down enamel and irritate the gums, leading to gum disease.
  • An open bite - An open bite can result from a tongue thrust or thumb sucking. Tongue thrusts can cause a child’s teeth to protrude, while thumb sucking can cause the front teeth to move out of alignment.
  • Speech difficulties - A speech impediment can impact a child’s academic performance and social development.

When left untreated, these orofacial myofunctional disorders can negatively impact a child’s quality of life.

What Is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is a type of physical therapy that treats the improper oral habits that cause orofacial myofunctional disorders. 

How Does Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) Work For Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Myofunctional therapy is used to treat orofacial myofunctional disorders, which are conditions resulting from malfunctioning or underdeveloped muscles involved in speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Orofacial myofunctional disorders affect adults and children alike and are common among children. Myofunctional therapy includes a series of exercises that correct these muscle dysfunctions.

Orofacual myofunctional therapy (OMT) focuses on retraining muscles that are used for chewing, swallowing, and speaking. The therapy itself involves a series of exercises that train the oral, nasal, and pharyngeal muscles to function properly. Exercises include tongue, jaw, and lip exercises.

The primary focus of OMT is to correct muscle dysfunction in the masticatory system, which includes the lips, tongue, cheeks, and jaw. OMT works to correct any misalignments in the muscles of the jaw to ensure that the person’s teeth come together properly for normal function. OMT can help resolve speech problems that prevent people from speaking clearly.

OMT involves the use of several different types of appliances or devices. These appliances are custom-made to fit the patient’s unique mouth. The appliances are removable and are used when the patient sleeps.

Myofunctional therapy is noninvasive and has been shown to be effective in treating orofacial myofunctional disorders. The therapy reduces the need for invasive dental and medical procedures and can eliminate the symptoms and conditions associated with these conditions.

Benefits of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) are conditions that affect the muscles and functions of the mouth and face. They are often related to a structural abnormality, like a small lower jaw, misaligned teeth, or a narrow upper jaw. An oral myofunctional disorder may also occur as the result of poor oral habits, like mouth breathing.

Myofunctional therapy treats these disorders, enabling patients to regain control of their muscles and thereby preventing future complications. This therapy is often most effective when paired with orthodontic treatment, such as braces, to help patients correct the underlying structural condition, as well as retrain their muscles to function properly.

NW Myofunctional Therapy is equipped with modern amenities and technologies that enable the best treatment opportunities. To know more, please call us at (503) 367-9440, schedule an appointment online or email us at [email protected] to have a consultation with our team in Portland, OR, and we will be happy to help. 

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Call or Text Us: (503) 367-9440

Email: [email protected]