Myofunctional Therapy

What is Myofunctional Therapy? 

Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) is an evidence-based program of simple exercises and behavior changes that are used to eliminate detrimental habits and establish healthy muscle function of the lips, tongue, and face to positively influence the way you look, breathe, speak, chew, and swallow. 

 

In addition to optimizing jaw and facial development during the growth years, this proactive conservative treatment is utilized as supportive therapy for tethered oral tissue (tongue, lip-tie)  posture, TMJ issues, and sleep-breathing disorders such as mouth breathing, upper airway resistance syndrome, snoring, and sleep apnea.   

See this article for more on myofunctional therapy 

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional disorder (OMD)

Our bodies want to function the way they were designed but are also very adaptable. These compensations our body makes are sometimes not entirely helpful to our overall well-being. If one piece of the puzzle of our design is out of place, a cascade of problems can develop as function affects form.

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) refer to improper resting posture and function of the facial muscles, tongue and mouth that interfere with the way you grow and develop and how your body performs .

 

If you suffer from Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder, you may experience: 

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These symptoms may be directly or indirectly related to an OMD

OMD's may include :

  • tongue resting in the wrong place  

  • tongue thrust swallowing and incorrect chewing  patterns

  • During swallowing: abnormal tongue or jaw action, overuse of chin muscles 

  • low muscle tone of the tongue and surrounding muscles

  • sucking and/or chewing habits : pacifier, thumb, cheek, lips, nails, clothing, etc 

  • bruxism ; teeth grinding or clenching 

  • excessive tension in jaw muscles or weakness in jaw muscles 

  • poor nasal breathing, collapse of nasal muscles during breathing 

  • open-mouth posture and weak lips

  • short upper lip

  • poor oral placement for speech 

 

Several factors can contribute to OMD's, some include:

  • low tone at birth due to premature birth or other developmental factors

  • tongue lip and cheek 'ties':  tethered oral tissue (TOT)

  • mouth breathing​ due to airway obstruction:  enlarged tonsils, adenoids, anatomical abnormalities, and/or allergies

  • obstruction of upper airway as a result of allergies or enlarged adenoids and tonsils

  • pacifier and bottle use 

  • upper and lower jaw abnormalities

  • cranial strain patterns

How do I know if myofunctional therapy is right for me or my child? 

Myofunctional therapy is painless, relatively simple to do, and applicable at some level to all ages. Beginning with a comprehensive assessment and setting personalized goals, we develop a custom program for each individual. For successful results, exercises and behavior modification must be done consistently until the patient has integrated the muscle patterns and habits into everyday life and they have become automatic. Like being on a sports team for a season, it takes a commitment of awareness and time by the patient and the support of their family. A myofunctional therapist will help with positive motivational techniques. It feels good to function in the way you were designed, which is a great for  self-motivation . 

WHAT IF MY CHILD IS UNDER 3?

We have various programs, including parent coaching on how to promote proper myofunctional health in their own children and play-based programs for the younger ages. MyoFUNctional therapy can be fun!

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INTEGRATIVE TEAM APPROACH TO CARE:  Addressing root causes 

We work alongside other health care professionals to support your care and to find help in addressing the underlying causative factors, such as tongue and lip ties or allergies or managing resulting problems such as crooked teeth, TMJ disorder, speech, digestive issues, and sleep-breathing disorders. 

Other allied professionals, such as dentists, orthodontists, sleep physicians, speech pathologists, lactation consultants, body workers such as manual osteopaths and myofascial therapists will help ensure that all the patient’s needs are addressed and treated appropriately.

Basic Myofunctional Health Goals 

Develop increased awareness and skills to achieve proper oral posture and function 

  • Eliminate detrimental habits, if necessary 

  • Breathing through the nose, lips closed

  • Tongue resting fully on the roof of the mouth

  • Effective chewing and mature swallowing patterns

Other areas our therapy and coaching address:

  • Airway tone

  • Healthy sleep habits

  • Body posture 

  • Table manners 

  • Coordinating care and communication between providers 

Myofunctional Services Include:
  • Comprehensive programs for all ages 

  • Parent coaching for younger ages 

  • Before and after care for tethered oral tissue (tongue, lip or cheek-tie)   

  • Sucking habit elimination (thumb, finger, pacifier, etc.)

  • Orthognathic surgery support

  • Sleep-breathing disorder support 

  • TMJ dysfunction support 

  • Support with altered function due to aging or trauma 

  • Special needs programs

 

Breathe well for improved posture, focus, energy, athletic performance, and overall health. 

If you'd like to find out if you could benefit from myofunctional therapy, schedule your complementary, 30-minute phone or online consultation with me today. And in the meantime, download my self-assessment form to help you learn more about your own habits. 

Testimonials

Alex 
Sacramento 

"My sleep apnea was harming my health, causing high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, IBS, narcolepsy, & constant sleepiness. Karyn is a strong patient advocate & constantly stays up-to-date on the latest information on myofunctional therapy, medicine, & health in general. She spoke with my surgeon, dentist, & orthodontist to work with them to help improve my sleep apnea & make me a much healthier person. She worked with my insurance company so that I can get reimbursed for her fees. I don't know many people who go above and beyond like this, especially in the world of therapy. She cares about me & my therapy, my outcomes with my doctors, & my overall health."

Connect with CVW

‭(916) 741-0534‬

1100 Melody Ln Suite 221

Roseville, CA  95678 

Soli Deo gloria 

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