Orofacial Myology

Muscles that rest in the proper positions have a positive impact on dental health, speech, swallowing, and breathing.
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What is Orofacial Myology?

Orofacial Myology is described as “the study and treatment of the oral and facial muscles as they relate to speech, dentition, chewing/bolus collection, swallowing, and overall mental and physical health.” (Sandra R. Holtzman)

Positive Impacts of Nasal Breathing

Image by Austin Pacheco

 

The muscles of the mouth and face are extremely important. Besides for performing tasks such as eating, speaking and breathing, they play an essential role in our growth and development.  When the muscles of the orofacial complex develop atypical patterns over a long period of time, the incorrect muscle adaptations can cause a variety of problems such as dental malocclusions, orthodontic relapse and sleep disordered breathing . We consider these problems to be Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD.)

What is a OMD?

Potential signs of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)

  • Tongue Thrust/ Low Forward Tongue posture 

  • Lip incompetence

  • Mouth breathing

  • Oral Habits such as thumb sucking

  • Difficulty breast or bottle feeding infants

  • Clenching or Grinding Teeth

  • TMJ disfunction (including popping or clicking)

  • Distorted speech

  • Dental Malocclusions such as open bite or overjet

  • Orthodontic relapse

  • Tethered Oral Tissues

  • Messy or Picky Eating

  • Excessive Drooling

  • Poor Sleep

How can OMT help?

  • Establish lip seal, optimal nasal breathing, and proper tongue position

  • Improve sleep which is associated with increased mental health, such as reduced anxiety, hyperactivity and learning difficulties.

  • Prevent orthodontic relapse

  • Improve posture/ cervical pain

  • Improve jaw (TMJ) pain

  • Establish optimal swallowing and chewing patterns

  • Improve intelligibility of speech

  • Achieve optimal results from a frenuloplasty by participating in pre/ post op therapy​

  • May improve digestive health issues such as GERD

  • Aesthetic benefit which can bolster self-esteem​

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RESOURCES

books

WEbsites

Articles/ Research

  • UCLA Research Presentation. Lingual frenuloplasty with myofunctional therapy for the treatment of mouth breathing, snoring, clenching, and myofascial tension in appropriately selected patient candidates. https://youtu.be/2EI3NxlTJwQ

 

 

  • Current literature demonstrates that myofunctional therapy decreases apnea-hypopnea index by approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children. Lowest oxygen saturations, snoring, and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults. DOI 10.5665/sleep.4652

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