Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is used to establish (or re-establish) normal oral rest postures and muscle functions of the mouth. Myofunctional therapy occurs as a part of a collaborative team to improve the child’s quality of life. Treatment goals may include: eliminate any harmful sucking habit (thumb-sucking/pacifier/prolonged use of sippy cups), establish nasal breathing patterns, normalize tongue, lip, and teeth resting postures, and improve functional chewing and swallowing.
How Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) impacts function. In many cases when children/adults fail to make progress with articulation or feeding goals or experience orthodontic relapse (think: teeth shifting back after braces), there is an underlying cause. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are frequently the cause and can affect directly and/or indirectly breastfeeding, facial growth & development, breathing, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion (teeth alignment), temporomandibular joint movement (TMJ), oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more.
Here are some causes of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs):
- Restricted Nasal Airway- due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, and/or allergies
- Improper Oral Habits (such as thumb sucking)
- Extended use of pacifier and/or long-term use of sippy cups
- Structural or physiological abnormalities (including tongue-tie)
- Neurological deficits and developmental delays
- Hereditary Predisposition
Should I be concerned? Red Flags:
- Open Mouth Rest Posture/Mouth Breathing
- Thumb/Finger Sucking
- Prolonged Pacifier Usage
- Forward Resting Tongue Posture (between or against teeth)
- Tongue Thrust
- Orthodontic Relapse (Teeth movement after the removal of braces)
- Speech problems (such as poor articulation due limited tongue movement)
- Messy Eater/Swallowing Problems
- Poor Dental Hygiene/teeth movement
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