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Posted January 13, 2016.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. The position of the tongue is one of the most important factors in facial skeletal, jaw and dental development. OMD may affect, directly and/or indirectly chewing, speech, swallowing, dental jaw growth, TMJ, cosmetics, infant feeding (sucking patterns) and facial skeletal growth and development. OMD’s can affect many aspects of health from breathing/airway constriction, GERD, digestion problems, sleep disorders, headaches and TMJ – just to name a few! OMD’s can also affect the stability of orthodontic results!

So what do we do?

OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY (OMT), is a series of therapeutic exercises to address your specific myofunctional disorder. Teaching a person the proper swallow can reinforce dental jaw and teeth relationships. Myofunctional Therapy Can Help Prevent Or Solve General Health Concerns & Enhance Appearance!

Some common problems that are associated with these dysfunctional muscle patterns
 (OMD’s), such as:

  • Crooked teeth or orthodontic relapse
  • Breathing disorders, including mouth breathing
  • Loud and/or messy chewing and eating habits
  • Forward head posture
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems and upset stomach (eg. from air swallowing, acid reflux)
  • Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie
  • TMJ (jaw joint) pain
  • Drooling (day or during sleep)
  • Gum disease
  • Attention/behavioral issues (ADD or ADHD)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Middle ear drainage issues
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Oral lesions from tongue irritation or cheek biting
  • Habits, such as thumb sucking, nail, lip or cheek biting, hair chewing, chewing on pens, lick liping

These orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD’s) may have a negative effect on the development of the dentition, particularly eruption patterns and/or alignment of the teeth and jaws, and may also contribute to the development of a malocclusion. In some cases, abnormal and/or inadequate jaw growth may occur. OMD’s may also cause cosmetic problems, as well.

The goal of Oral Myofunctional therapy is to eliminate the dysfunctional habit and/or pattern(s), establish nasal breathing, correct resting postures of the mouth and facial muscles, and correct dysfunctional swallowing patterns.

Correcting muscle function while a person is still growing and developing encourages proper bone and dental development, making early identification optimal.

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