What is orofacial myofunctional therapy?
Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) is just like physical therapy but for your mouth, face, jaws and oropharynx (throat). It involves a series of individually picked exercises targeting the tongue, lips, face and throat muscles. These muscles help in the proper function of breathing, sucking, chewing, swallowing, and even kissing!!!
OMT is great for people who are:
Have a habit of sucking their thumb or fingers
Have had braces and orthodontics before but need them again
TMJ Disorder and experiencing jaw pain, headaches/migraines, or neck and shoulder pain
Sleep apnea, sleep breathing disorders like upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)
OMT helps tone weak muscle groups and retrain dysfunctional habits such as a tongue thrust or breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.
But why haven't I heard of OMT before?
Truth be told, OMT has been around for decades, and it's very popular, especially in European countries and Brazil. However, American culture and educational institutions emphasize pharmaceuticals and appliances to cover symptoms rather than treating the system as a whole. So, simply put, our health/medical educational system here in America does not teach this field. The importance of oxygen, sleep quality, and proper functioning muscles is not emphasized. Rather, we learn how to mask symptoms with pills and appliances that you will depend on for the rest of your life.
But don't forget, all the muscles and cells in our bodies are connected from head to toe-
there is no separation