Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy At Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic

Oral Screening Services

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?

Myofunctional therapy, also known as Orofacial myology or Orofacial Myofunctional therapy, is a non-invasive approach to treat dysfunctional oral habits. It comprises static and active strength exercises to rehabilitate the tongue and orofacial muscles.

When can it be treated?

It’s never too late to treat this dysfunctionality. People of all ages can develop positive and long-lasting habits after getting the therapy. Improvement is seen in breathing, chewing, swallowing, digestion, facial esthetics, sleep quality, mood, and more.

How our clinic performs the Orofacial Myofunctional therapy?

Our focus is on research and evidence-based diagnosis, patient education and build a treatment plan according to achieve optimal oral and overall health goals of the patient.

We provide customized programs to treat Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Our practice can provide treatments/myofunctional therapy for the following conditions:

  • Thumb / Finger Sucking Habits
  • Tongue Thrust
  • Nail Biting and Other Oral Habits
  • Incorrect Tongue Rest-Posture/Swallowing Pattern
  • Tongue-Tie Frenectomy preparatory and rehabilitation therapy
  • Lip Incompetence (Mouth breathing)
  • Snoring due to open mouth
  • Sleep apnea (therapy to decrease sleep apnea-hypopnea index)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Crowded teeth
  • Clenching and grinding
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues
  • Speech articulation 

At the clean smile dental hygiene clinic, the OMT is a airway centric and customized program that teaches exercises for tongue and facial muscles and techniques for behavioural modification that helps with improving and treating chewing & swallowing disorders, promote proper rest posture of the tongue and improves breathing. 

To make the therapy successful, consistency is the key!!

Everyday exercise is needed until the desired muscle pattern is achieved. It requires commitment from the patient, family, and time. Treatment at our clinic usually starts with a detailed evaluation, followed by a customized treatment plan. It might take over 6-12 months with a regular program of exercise however it may vary from patient to patient.

Understanding your child’s teeth

Why would I need to see an orofacial Myologist?

Orofacial Myofunctional disorders are dysfunctions of muscles and disorders of the face and mouth that affect ;

  • Swallowing
  • Chewing/eating
  • Facial skeletal growth and development
  • Speech
  • Dental arch development
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Oral hygiene
  • Stability of orthodontic treatment
  • Facial aesthetics

Orofacial Myofunctional disorder can occour due to chronic inadequate/obstructive nasal breathing or chronic mouth breathing. The constant adaption of the facial muscles and function from such disordered breathing habits can lead to Orofacial Myofunctional disorders.

The goal of our myologist is to provide customized treatment for our patients while being aligned with our dentist and other health care practioners to collectively achieve the best oral function and balance.

How can a Myofunctional Disorder impact swallowing?

The process of swallowing is a function that depends on the working of our muscles in a balanced way. To swallow properly teeth, tongue, cheeks, and throat must work together in synchronized manner.

How does a Myofunctional Disorder transform the way our teeth and jaw grow?

  • When a swallows, the tip and/or edges of the tongue press against or spread between the teeth. This is normally called a tongue thrust. Continuous pressure from a low resting tongue or incorrectly thrusting the tongue away from the roof of the mouth may take the teeth out of the place. The pressure created by it may prevent teeth from erupting from the correct position.
  • The constant pressure of the tongue beside or among the teeth will not allow the teeth to bite together. This is known as an open bite.
  • Thumb or finger sucking habits force the tongue into a lower site that eventually pushes it against the teeth, the position that pushes it against the teeth.
  • The horizontal lump of the upper teeth in front of the lower teeth is known as an overjet. This can significantly affect a person’s appearance and self-confidence.
  • A Myofunctional Disorder can lead to an irregular bite or Malocclusion. This problem occurs when the alignment of the upper and lower teeth is out, causing them not to fit together properly.
  • Malocclusion may appear as crooked, jam-packed, or protruding teeth. This problem may lead to problems in biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting food. It may also distress a person’s appearance and speech.

How do know if I have a Myofunctional Disorder?

The best way to find out, if you or your child have Myofunctional Disorder is to come in for your evaluation. We perform  myofunctional evaluation at no cost as part of our dental exam during your visit.

Usually, the most prominent symptom of incorrect oral posture involves the face muscles. A dull, lethargic, weak lip appearance develops when the muscles are not working properly. Constantly divided lips are another indication of the disorder.

A person swallowing incorrectly will often squeeze and stiffen the muscles of the cheeks, chin, and lips – a sign known as a Facial grimace. This can give the chin a twisted appearance because these muscles are being overworked.

Mouth breathing or constantly opening lips is a cause and/or signal of tongue thrust and low tongue relaxation posture.

Does Myofunctional Therapy help to improve speech?

A child/ individual, who is suffering from abnormal oral muscle patterns may have difficulty articulating sounds. If the muscles in the tongue and lips are incorrectly placed, this can stop the patient from forming normal speech sounds.

An orofacial myologist will help to stabilize orofacial muscles, however, a Speech Therapist must be required for the correct expression of sounds.

What are some of the other problems that Myofunctional Therapy can help resolve?

Improper oral muscle function may lead to TMJ dysfunctionheadachesstomach pain/bloatingairway obstruction, and sleep-disordered breathing.

Recent research has shown that Myofunctional Therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (such as snoring) and improve mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). When the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face are functioning and used correctly, this assists in the resolution of many of these disorders.

Myofunctional therapy at clean smiles dental hygiene clinic

At clean smile dental hygiene clinic, our trained Myofunctional Therapist can perform screening and are able to suggest is OMT is right for you or your child. Other allied professionals such as Dentists, Orthodontists, ENTs, Sleep GPs, GPs, Chiropractors, Osteopathists, and Speech Therapists, may be required to work collaboratively to ensure that the patient’s needs are addressed and figured appropriately. We feel that the patient needs to be assessed and treated by from a variety of methods to be successful in treatment.

At clean smiles, we believe that everyone deserves to be educated about Myofunctional Disorders and treated if they suffer from them.  With Myofunctional Therapy, a patient can regain the enjoyment of eating, speaking, breathing, and even sleeping more soundly. Further to this, cosmetic improvements can help restore confidence and self-esteem.

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