Orofacial M yofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more.
Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). When functioning and used properly, the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face, can reduce obstruction to the airway.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) eliminates many of the causes of swallowing abnormalities and improper rest posture of the tongue.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is painless and the exercises are relatively simple. When certain muscles of the face are activated and functioning properly, other muscles will follow suit until proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles is attained. For success in this therapy, consistent exercise every day is necessary until the patient has corrected their improper muscle pattern. It also takes commitment by the patient, family – and time. Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary.
With myofunctional therapy, a patient can regain the joy of eating, speaking, breathing, and even sleeping more soundly. Cosmetic improvements can help restore confidence and self-esteem.