Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) The presence of OMDs can affect children and adults and can have a significant impact on your health. Each muscle in the face and mouth has a specific job and when they are weak, the surrounding muscles of your tongue, jaw, and lips must work harder to compensate. This can negatively affect teeth alignment, jaw development, and the size and shape of your palate impacting (or affecting) your airway and daily life. Early treatment for children can help prevent a lifetime of health challenges and OMDs in adults can be reduced which often become more troublesome with age.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) can help address the root causes of OMDs which is key to helping you overcome your symptoms. Through a series of daily exercises, you can strengthen your facial muscles to restore healthy oral function so you can breathe, sleep, and live better!

Mouth Breathing

Our nasal passages act like humidifiers to warm and moisten the air entering our body. It filters out debris and defends our body against unfriendly microbes. The nose produces nitric oxide, which improves your lungs ability to absorb oxygen and transport it throughout the body. Nitric oxide can relax your blood vessels which increases blood flow to your body, critical for cardiovascular health. Mouth breathing is a pre-curser to sleep apnea and is associated with poor tongue posture. Your orofacial myofunctional evaluation will help determine if you are nasal breathing or mouth breathing.

Sleep Disordered Breathing

Sleep Disordered Breathing is a blanket term encompassing a range of breathing disorders. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that will affect your quality of sleep but can also lead to health issues from chronic fatigue and irritability to heart disease and diabetes. Other symptoms include snoring, teeth grinding, and hyperactivity in children. Orofacial myofunctional therapy and possible referral to ENT or Airway dentist can help alleviate the underlying cause of sleep disordered breathing.

Tongue Posture and Tongue Tie

The ideal resting place for your tongue should be completely up on the palate with tongue tip just behind the top front teeth. Why is tongue posture important? If your tongue is resting low in the mouth it will obstruct your airway leading to snoring and sleep apnea. If your tongue rests low because of a restriction of the frenum it’s called a tongue tie. The frenum is a band of tissue under your tongue. This restriction can impact speech, swallowing, and breathing leading to symptoms such as snoring, grinding or clenching of the teeth, sleep apnea, and jaw pain.

Speech Problems that may develop from an OMD

A person with abnormal oral muscle patterns may suffer a lisp or have difficulty in articulating sounds. If muscles in the tongue and lips are incorrectly postured, this can prevent a person from forming sounds of normal speech.

Improper oral muscle function may additionally lead to TMJ dysfunction, headaches, stomach distress (from swallowing air), airway obstruction, and other health challenges.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy will help you establish new muscle pattern and posture to improve the function of the mouth, tongue, and airway.