The muscles of the mouth and face (myofacial muscles) are super important to our overall health. These muscles not only play a role in our growth and development but also allow us to eat, smile, and talk! In fact, the function of these muscles can determine whether or not we have straight, healthy teeth and properly developed airwary.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is basically the retraining of the oral and facial muscles. OMT includes facial and tongue exercises and behavior modification techniques. We teach patients how to chew, swallow, seal lips, and breathe correctly. We work on habits, such as thumb sucking, which leads to poor muscle patterns that can affect total body health. When the muscles of the face and mouth are functioning and resting properly it sends a chain reaction through our body allowing everything else to work and develop properly as well.
We use Myofunctional therapy to treat a wide variety of health issues including Sleep Apnea, chronic headaches, TMJ Dysfuntion (TMD), and poor digestion to name a few. Sleep apnea has recently gained more recognition because doctors are realizing that 60% of the adult population is affected by the disease and there are over 150 million people in the US that are undiagnosed apneatics. Every population and body type is affected by sleep apnea…even young children!
There are several signs and symptom of poor development of orofacial muscles. Some of these include but are not limited to the following:
- Chronic headaches
- Mouth breathing or resting with your mouth open
- Tongue Thrust
- Movement of teeth or relapse after orthodontic treatment
- Open bite (meaning your front teeth don’t overlap top over bottom)
- TMJ pain and/or neck pain
- Oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, nail biting, lip licking, or hair chewing
- Grinding and/or clenching teeth
- Chronic stomach aches, burping, bloating, drooling, or hiccups
- Have a “tongue-tie”
- Sleep walking, talking in your sleep or night terrors
- “Lisp” when saying “S” sounds
HOW DOES OUR OFFICE TREAT MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY DIFFERENT?
We are very fortunate to have partnered with Mandy Thompson RDH to treat our patients with facial muscle dysfuntion. Mandy is passionate about providing her patients with comprehensive care. She spends time diagnosing and then detailing a customized treatment plan for each patient with individual exercises and monitors your improvement closely. Going through “Myo” therapy is life-changing for patients who now sleep and breath and function at a higher level.
Mandy will typically see you in person for the start of your therapy, a mid-point check, and to finish. The other appointments are done via Skype/Facetime and videos are often provided to aide in practicing the exercises. Mandy is committed to the success of every one of her patients as well as constantly studying and learned more about this exciting field.