In recent years, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) started to emerge and has slowly become mainstream. Although the concept is not new, we are only now seeing research papers and an increased awareness of the importance of the airway, mouth and tongue as they pertain to overall health. OMT is a professional discipline that evaluates and treats orofacial functional disorders and habit patterns that may disturb optimal dental development, lead to improper airway function and impact facial aesthetics.
Traditionally it was thought that Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy specialized in tongue thrust exclusively (Side note, OMT does eliminate tongue thrust, since it is the easiest symptom of myofunctional disorder to recognize). In reality, OMT is an interdisciplinary practice that works with muscles of the lips, tongue, cheeks and face to bring the cranium to correct physiological mode of development. OMT consists of an evaluation, diagnosis, prevention training and treatment for functions related to breathing, sucking, chewing, swallowing and some aspects of speech. In a few words, my job as a therapist to improve functions. I’m always looking forward to working in partnership and collaboration with the dental and medical team, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, nurses, oral surgeons, psychologists and educators.
“OMT consists of an evaluation, diagnosis, prevention training and treatment for functions related to breathing, sucking, chewing, swallowing and some aspects of speech.”
Myofunctional therapy relies on muscle efficiency to restore functions and the principles of neuroplasticity. For those who are unaware, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt itself to changes in environment or stimuli. The principles of neuroplasticity are:
- Use it or lose it
- Use it and improve it
- Plasticity is experience specific
- Repetition matters
- Intensity matters
- Time matters
- Salience matters
- Age matters
What are the goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
- Eliminate or minimize noxious oral habits (non-nutritive habits that apply pressure against oral structures, leading to derangement of normal muscle patterns).
Common noxious oral habits: Thumb/finger sucking, blanket sucking, fingernail biting, prolonged pacifier use, tongue sucking
- Establish nasal breathing
- Achieve lip competence
- Attain a palatal tongue rest posture: anterior and posterior
- Activate and elevate back of the tongue
- Tone the pharyngeal muscles
- Work on functional head and neck posture
Want to get started?
A variety of OMT exercises involve physical props that allow you to focus on the correct muscles. In addition to ample 1:1 coaching, frequent checkins and the ability to ask me any questions, I also include these exercise tools free of charge with my program. If you would like to get in contact, please fill out the form here: Contact