What is OMT?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, or OMT, addresses and treats muscle (myo) disorders of the oral and facial areas that include abnormal chewing and swallowing patterns, inappropriate postures or functions of the lip, tongue, face and jaw muscles, dysfunctional habit patterns such as prolonged sucking habits, and other orofacial habits. These orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD's) may have a negative effect on the development of the dentition, particularly eruption patterns and/or alignment of the teeth and jaws, and may also contribute to the development of a malocclusion. In some cases, abnormal changes in jaw growth may occur. OMD's may also cause cosmetic problems, as well.
A myriad of problems are associated with these dysfunctional muscle patterns (OMD's), such as:
-Crooked teeth or orthodontic relapse
-Breathing disorders, including mouth breathing
-Loud and/or messy chewing and eating habits
-Forward head posture
-Digestive problems and upset stomach (eg. from air swallowing, acid reflux)
-Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie
-TMJ (jaw joint) pain
-Drooling, associated with an open-mouth posture
-Psychological and/or attention problems
-Failure to thrive
-Middle ear drainage issues
-Grinding or clenching of the teeth
-Oral lesions from tongue irritation
-Habits, such as thumb sucking, nail, lip or cheek biting, hair chewing
The goal of OMT is to eliminate dysfunctional habit patterns, establish nasal breathing, correct resting postures of the orofacial muscles, and correct dysfunctional swallowing patterns. Correcting muscle function while a person is still growing and developing encourages proper bone and dental development, making early identification optimal.