What is Myofunctional Therapy?



What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, and more. Most OMDs originate with insufficient habitual nasal breathing or with oral breathing. The subsequent adaptation of the muscles and the orofacial functions to a disordered breathing pattern creates many OMDs.

Myofunctional Therapy and Habit Elimination Programs: 

Excessive and prolonged thumbsucking can affect a child’s teeth, speech, swallowing, appearance, and self-esteem.  The teeth can be moved to an undesirable position as a result of the pressure from the thumb. This can cause an open-bite, over-jet (“buck teeth”), or cross-bite.  Speech produciton can also be affected be a sucking habit. Sucking habits can also lead to mouth breathing. When we breathe through our mouth, we miss out on the many benefits of nasal breathing.  These include the moistening of the air to make it the optimal temperature or our lungs to breathe and the filtering of air to keep out unwanted germs. This can lead to increased upper airway infections, middle ear infections, and colds. Orofacial myologists are specially trained to evaluate and treat the muscle of the mouth and face Our thumbing elimination program focuses on giving your child the confidence they need to break their thumb sucking habit, We use a proven, but fun and encouraging program to your child break their habit and maintain it!

Myofunctional Therapy and Tongue Tie:

We specialize in the before and after care for lip and tongue ties. When the tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth, it is difficult to maintain the ideal tongue “resting posture” with lips closed at the tongue pressed up against the roof of the mouth. This can lead to a high, narrow palate that can affect facial development and the stabilization necessary for speech clarity. Tongue tie can also affect the processes of eating and swallowing. When the tongue is restricted, any of the following may result:  messy eating, dental caries/tooth decay due to not being able to clean food from teeth, fatigue from chewing, inefficient chewing, bites that are too big, difficulty accumulating the bolus on the tongue in order to swallow, a tongue thrust swallowing pattern, malocclusion, difficulty licking ice cream cones, difficulty swallowing pills, and drooling due to poor management of saliva.  Digestive problems may also develop due to poorly chewed foods (Boshart, 2015). Symptoms of Tongue Tie in Children

Sleep ApneaSnoringTeeth gappingTeeth movement/turning/crowding even after bracesNot being able to clean teeth properly with tongueSpeech-Articulation IssuesSlow movement of tongue while speakingResonance issuesFood and texture aversionsHolding food in mouth instead of chewingAffected smileJaw or TMJ issuesFacial tensionThroat/Neck pain while talking, eating, or chewing Migraines

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