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What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?
Myofunctional Therapy is the "neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles" that helps treat orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). These dysfunctions may be termed, “Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders” (OMDs), “Soft Tissue Dysfunction”, “Tongue-Thrust Swallow”, “Infantile Swallow” or “Reverse Swallow”.
It’s the treatment of over 100 different interconnected muscles involved in the cranio-facial-respiratory complex. It involves targeted face, lip, tongue, jaw, postural, and breathing exercises as well as other therapeutic activities.
What are the goals of OMT?
The broad goals of OMT are to:
▪︎ Modify behaviors
▪︎ Eliminate noxious oral habits
▪︎ Strengthen tongue
▪︎ Oropharynx and lip musculature
▪︎ Correct tongue posture
▪︎ Decrease muscular tension
▪︎ Establish bilateral chewing and correct drinking
▪︎ Posterior teeth together swallow
▪︎ Harmonious peri-oral muscle pattern
▪︎ Lip seal and nasal breathing patterns.
This therapy includes facial and tongue exercises and behavior modification techniques to promote:
4 GOALS of
Proper Tongue Rest Posture
(on the roof of the mouth)
Correct Swallowing Patterns
Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 4-12 month period, although length of treatment may vary.
Our OMT treatment for adults is provided in four stages of therapy, with each stage requiring approximately 2-3 months to complete.
The stages of therapy are:
1-Intensive/habit elimination phase (weekly sessions), 2-Function repatterning phase (fortnightly sessions), 3-3-Orofacial systems synchronisation phase (sessions every three weeks)
4- habituation phase (monthly sessions).
Sessions are 20-25 minutes in length and your daily input at home is 5-7 minutes three times a day.
Myofunctional Therapy UK will assist you in achieving goals, with a blend of therapies that in addition to OMT incorporate:
-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
-Trigger Point Therapy
How long does orofacial Myofunctional therapy take?
What age is Myofunctional Therapy for?
Orofacial Myofuctional Disorders (OMDs) can occur across the lifespan, affect people of all ages, and can be found in infants, children, adolescents, and adults.
The treatment of OMDs varies based on the age and/or the cognitive ability of the patient.
While myofunctional therapy works better for children because their bones are rapidly growing, this treatment is still incredibly beneficial for adults too.
Your body is always changing, and the jawbone is one of the most dynamic bones in the body.
Myofunctional therapy keeps everything working properly and prevents functional problems from occurring in the jaw.
Delaying treatment has serious consequences. Early Prevention and intervention bring vital rewards and save money for families.
Orofacial Myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are incorrect muscle use and functions of the face and mouth - is when there is an abnormal mouth breathing, lip, jaw, or tongue position during rest, swallowing or speech.
OMDs may affect (directly and/or indirectly):
⚑ Facial skeletal growth and development
⚑ Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) movement
⚑ Oral hygiene
⚑ Stability of orthodontic treatment
⚑ Facial aesthetics and more...
What are Orofacial Myofuctional Disorders?
Myofunctional Therapy decreases apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children. Lowest oxygen saturations, snoring, and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults.
Who might need Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
Checklist for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders:
Children and Adults with OMD's may have some of the following associated symptoms:
✓ Speech sound errors or distortions. Lisp at times when pronouncing ‘S’ sounds
✓ Tongue rest against your teeth
✓ Chewing your food with your mouth open
✓ Often mouth breath or your mouth sit open when relaxed
✓ Misalignment of teeth
✓ Teeth moved after orthodontia
✓ High vaulted-shape of the hard palate
✓ Trouble breathing through the nose
✓ Open mouth breathing (day or night)
✓ Snoring or other sleep disorders
✓ Digestive problems such as reflux or stomach pain (may be caused by poor chewing and swallowing patterns)
✓ Bloating after eating
✓ TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Dysfunction or jaw popping, clicking, or pain
✓ Frequent Headaches - "Migraines"
✓ Neck pain, Stiffness
✓ Facial pain
✓ Ear ache, Tinnitus, Vertigo
✓ Clenching or grinding of teeth (day or night)
✓ Long Face syndrome, Imbalanced facial features, asymmetry of facial features
✓ Forward posture of head/neck
✓ Habits, including sucking of fingers, thumb, tongue, or cheek, prolonged use of a pacifier, chewing on clothing, excessive lip biting or licking, cheek biting, nail biting, chewing pens/pencils
✓ Tongue thrust while swallowing (tongue come forward when you swallow)
✓ Other chewing/swallowing problems
The human body is a complex organism made up of many overlapping systems. When one of those systems has a glitch, pain and abnormalities can affect other bodily systems and make life more of a challenge.
What Causes Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?
An amazing video explaining on patients develop crooked teeth, tongue thrust, and Temporomandibular disorder and how this can be prevented and treated.
Often mouth breathing is not evaluated and this video illustrates the importance of nasal breathing, proper tongue position, lip seal and swallowing - the main 4 Goals of Myofunctional Therapy .
How does Mouth Breathing Affect Childhood Development?
Craniofacial development is largest within the first 4 years of life with 90% of development complete by 12 years of age. This proper formation is the beginning of healthy craniofacial development that can support lifelong nasal breathing. Improperly formed craniofacial features can be a strong indicator of risk for the development of obstructive sleep apnea. The principal nongenetic determinant of maxillary growth is the route of breathing — nasal versus mouth breathing. Mouth breathing results in a narrow maxilla, high-arched palate, and increased lower facial height and facial esthetics. This craniofacial pattern has been termed the “long-face syndrome” and is associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) - a serious, debilitating, and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea symptoms include mouth breathing at night among other symptoms such as snoring, pauses in breaths while sleeping, difficulty getting up, behavior problems, and tiredness during the day.
Mouth breathing harms a child’s physical development.
As time passes, mouth breathing shifts your child’s facial structures, potentially leading to:
Crooked teeth and overcrowding
Uneven face and jaw symmetry
Overly visible gums
A narrow mouth
Mouth breathing harms a child’s mental development.
When your child can’t breathe properly, their brain can’t function properly either. The result is:
Difficulties with concentration and problem solving
Development of sleep disorders like insomnia
Disrupted emotional and social development
Misdiagnosis of issues like ADD and ADHD
Slower cognitive development
Poor performance at school