Orofacial Myology

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?

OMT is an individualised program, that utilises specific activities and exercises to help eliminate many of the causes of swallowing and chewing difficulties as well as ensuring that the tongue is correctly positioned in the mouth.

The act of swallowing is one function that depends on our muscles working in a balanced manner. To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together in harmony. Incorrect swallowing patterns can lead to an abnormal bite or malocclusion. This occurs when the upper and lower teeth are not properly aligned, causing them not to ‘fit together’ correctly.

Malocclusion may appear as crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth. This problem may lead to difficulties in biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting food. It may also affect a person’s appearance and speech.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy can be used to:

  • Eliminate Thumb / Finger and Dummy Sucking Habits
  • Preparation for a Tongue-Tie release (Frenectomy) and post release therapy to improve tongue function strength and positioning.
  • Tongue Thrust during swallowing
  • Incorrect Tongue Rest-Posture and or Swallowing Pattern
  • Nail Biting and Other Oral Habits
  • Lip Incompetence or difficulty keeping mouth closed resulting in Mouth breathing

OMT is best implemented as part of a Multi-Disciplinary team including other professionals such as Dentists, Orthodontists, ENT’s, Sleep Physicians, GP’s, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Speech Therapists. The team will work collaboratively to ensure that the child’s needs are addressed and handled appropriately.

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