Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is “the study and treatment of the oral and facial muscles as they relate to speech, dentition, chewing/bolus collection, swallowing, and overall mental and physical health.”

Our program uses an individualized series of static and dynamic exercises that improve the strength, positioning, and coordination of the facial, mouth and throat muscles. In order to properly speak, breath, and swallow, the muscles in our face, mouth, and throat need to be structured in the correct position and coordinate as they move together.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) can prove to be beneficial to children, teens, and adults. Early intervention may aid in normal craniofacial and dental growth and development. It can also improve issues such as oral resting posture that may be attributed to disrupted sleep, TMJ pain, and snoring.

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face, mouth and throat. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, craniofacial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, TMJ movement, oral hygiene, orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics and more.

Here are a few examples of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders:

Tongue thrust (tongue between the teeth while swallowing)
Mouth breathing (lips apart/mouth open at rest)
Jaw malocclusions (such as an overbite, underbite, or open bite)
Tongue tie
Lip tie
Here are a few possible signs and symptoms:

Lips apart at rest
Mouth breathing
Crowded or crooked teeth
Open bite
Speech issues
Thumb or digit sucking
Pacifier use past 12 months of age
Tongue thrust
Gagging and/or choking
Dry Lips/lip licking
Sleep issues

Goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

The four goals for OMT are:

Proper tongue position
Nasal breathing
Lip Seal
Correct swallowing pattern
Sounds pretty easy, right? However, for many, it isn’t easy at all. Some children or even adults can’t breathe through their nose due to years of open mouth habit with a low resting tongue that started when they were young. Childhood allergies, colds and congestion make it difficult to breathe through the nose, so we’re forced to breathe through the mouth. Once this habit sets in, it can be there for life because the muscles of the face and tongue never learn to function correctly.

Fortunately, with the right program of specialized designed series of exercises we are able to guide and help re-train the muscles to correct the proper resting position. This restores the nasal breathing pattern, which has so many benefits for overall health.

Child Myo Assessment = online parent assessment form

Adult Myo Assessment = online adult assessment form