Benefits Of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

 

What is orofacial myofunctional therapy?

Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) is not just “tongue therapy” or “tongue thrust therapy.” It’s the treatment of over 100 different interconnected muscles involved in the cranio-facial-respiratory complex. It involves targeted face, lip, tongue, jaw, postural, and breathing exercises as well as other therapeutic activities. The main goals of these treatments are to achieve habitual good oral rest posture (including nasal breathing) and balanced facial functions during activity. Treatment is individualized and varies based on the patient’s age, patient/parental concerns, clinical findings, and other factors. Oral placement and pediatric feeding therapy (offered by our speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist) are better options for younger children who are unable to complete volitional exercises and activitiesAt Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC, we not a run-of-the-mill orofacial myology clinic. Because we have a licensed massage therapist on staff, we also have the ability to combine muscular reconditioning with advanced bodywork treatments, including intra- and extra-oral therapeutic massage, breathwork, manual lymphatic drainage, and more.

We strive to be a holistic practice with a focus on whole-body health and wellness.

 

Here are some of the reported benefits of orofacial myology:Orofacial myofunctional therapy can facilitate orthodontic treatment and reduce the chances of orthodontic relapse.

  1. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can help to reduce the chances of relapse after jaw surgery.
  2. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may help you breathe through your nose after tonsil or adenoid surgery. 
  3. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can provide anticipatory guidance and help to re-educate lingual function after a frenectomy (tongue tie release).
  4. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may help you sleep better and more soundly.
  5. Orofacial myofunctional therapy could improve your brain’s cognitive functions.
    • Breathing through your nose not only makes you look smarter… it has been associated with enhanced focus, memory, and learning. It may also improve ADHD symptoms.
  6. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may enhance your facial appearance.
    • If you stick to our recommendations, you just might see desirable changes in your facial appearance. A gummy smile, weak or depressed chin, shortened upper lip, short philtrum, lengthened face, poor midface growth, a substantial malocclusion (overbite, underbite, or open bite), and other undesirable facial traits are common signs of facial muscle dysfunction. Oral and facial exercises can define and firm the face. Balanced oral and facial muscle patterns can help to promote ideal craniofacial growth patterns, soften the face by releasing facial muscle tension, firm up the jaw line, promote blood flow to the skin and underlying musculature, and possibly even help to prevent or smooth wrinkles.
  7. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may enhance your athletic performance.
  8. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can improve your oral health.
  9. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can optimize your GI system.
    • The stomatognathic system begins with the mouth. A good, mature swallow generates positive pressure and initiates the peristaltic motion that pushes food through the digestive tract. A tongue thrust swallow is considered a negative pressure swallow. Because air is used to facilitate the swallow, this could result in air being swallowed. Swallowing excess air result in other digestive problems, such as aerophagia-induced acid reflux, gas, or bloating.
  10. Orofacial myofunctional therapy could prevent or alleviate head, neck, jaw, and ear pain.
    • Orofacial myofunctional therapy can prevent pain caused by years of dysfunctional muscle use and compensatory patterns, but it can also reduce myofascial pain in patients with existing TMJ pain. Because TMJ dysfunction can show up in the ear, good oral function may also help alleviate otologic (ear) symptoms. Good oral posture involves the teeth a few millimeters apart, so we train you to unclench your jaw and to not have it hinged too far open either.
  11. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may be able to help Bell’s Palsy patients regain function.
  12. Orofacial myofunctional therapy can help you to reduce oral habits.
    • From sucking habits (like pacifiers and digit sucking). In our program, we not only work on oral rest posture, we work on optimizing your overall body posture. Good posture facilitates good breathing mechanics and vice-versa. Good posture and breathing also helps to ensure other good oral functions, like speaking, to biting habits (like nail biting and pen biting), orofacial myofunctional therapy offers a great opportunity for you to kick bad habits and develop healthy new ones!
  13. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may improve your posture.
  14. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may help with drooling.
    • Orofacial myofunctional therapy targets drooling through general awareness, saliva control, lip seal, posture, jaw strength and stability, and more!
  15. Orofacial myofunctional therapy may help with pill swallowing.
    • Difficulty with pill swallowing can be a sign of a dysfunctional swallow.

 

Is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Effective?

Several factors can influence the success of a therapeutic orofacial myofunctional therapy program, including the provider and patient dynamic.

At Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC, our providers are top-notch. We have the experience and knowledge to provide targeted treatment for your specific needs. Likewise, the patient’s desire/willingness to change, cooperation, and self-discipline are also necessary for success.

The usefulness of orofacial myology treatment has been shown in numerous investigations. Orofacial myofunctional therapy is highly effective in correcting rest posture, swallowing, and other oral functions. Our program is designed to make long-term changes that will last for years to come.

 

Using Myofunctional Therapy to Your Advantage

At Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC, we recognize the importance of oral/facial health to overall health. As a result, we’ve prioritized staying current with specialty treatment education and training. This involves a heavy emphasis on myofunctional therapy and its comorbidities.

If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have oral, facial, or respiratory muscle dysfunction, don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible to begin establishing your orofacial myofunctional therapy treatment plan.