A program used to correct the improper function of the tongue and facial muscles. It involves strengthening the tongue and orofacial muscles by teaching you how to use your muscles correctly.
Orofacial Myology is the study and treatment of disorders that involve a variety of postural and functional abnormalities of the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face that can occur in both children and adults.
These disorders are described as Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD).
In most cases, OMDs are the result of a combination of factors, and can result from:
• prolonged oral habits, thumb or finger sucking habits and pacifier use
• habits such as nail biting, cheek and lip biting, clothes chewing,
and grinding of teeth during sleep
• restricted airway, from enlarged tonsils/adenoids or nasal cavity
• structural or physiological issues such as “tongue tie”
• hereditary disposition to any of the above factors
If left untreated OMDs can cause
OMDs can negatively influence upper and lower jaw growth, slow orthodontic treatment, and in many cases unravel orthodontic work, resulting in relapse.
Current research has revealed that 81% clients with speech sound errors/articulation disorder likely have an OMD. When there is a combination of OMD and related speech problems, it is often difficult to correct the speech problems through traditional speech therapy until the OMD are corrected.
Children and even adults with an incorrect chewing and swallowing pattern, including an inability to breathe adequately through the nose, may frequently chew their food with their lips open. This can result in digestive issues such as an upset stomach, reflux and bloating, due to air that is swallowed along with partially chewed food.
Incorrect tongue posture when swallowing can produce up to 500 grams of pressure.
Only a light force of approximately 1.5 grams of pressure is needed to move a tooth.
Meaning, Orofacial Myofunctional therapy can aid in the longevity of your orthodontics!
Effectively correcting an OMD requires an interdisciplinary approach. The best results are almost always achieved by working with a team of experts trained in orofacial myofunctional therapy. Even with the work of an orthodontist and dentist to correct problems that have
already occurred, the habit at the root of the issue must be addressed to prevent further complications and promote long-term success with your orthodontic investments.
Myofunctional therapy is a solution to re-train the
muscles of the face and tongue for proper posture at rest, during speech and during swallowing. Clients are able to simply and effectively eliminate the long term problems associated with an OMD.
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