Knoxville and Maryville, TN
Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) may be a mouthful to say, but it should be something parents ask their dentist about early on. Here’s what it is, and what it is not. OMT is a growing field in which dental and speech professionals collaborate to treat patients with sleep apnea, TMJ disorder, ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), and sleep breathing disorders.
OMT is commonly used to help treat patients with tongue-tie. However, do not be mistaken in assuming that OMT is tongue thrust therapy. It is so much more!
OMT is oral rest posture therapy. What does this mean exactly?
Well, think for a moment and focus on how your mouth is resting right now. Is it open or closed? How is your tongue positioned? Is it pressed to the roof of your mouth, or is it resting low against the floor of your mouth? Also, how are you breathing, through your mouth or your nose?
Believe it or not, these aspects significantly impact oral health, as well as a child’s development, even their looks. Children who have an incorrect oral resting posture will often develop severe malocclusions such as an open bite, overbite, or worse – a sleep breathing disorder.
In fact, poor oral resting posture can completely alter your child’s looks! That elongated look, mouth breathing, or a side profile in which the lower jaw looks as if it has been pushed too far back, are common orofacial myofunctional disorders that can be corrected with OMT.
Can’t orthodontics fix my child’s malocclusion? Yes, and no.
Although orthodontics can certainly help realign your child’s bite, as well as straighten his or her teeth, the problem is still there, the problem being an OMT.
Orthodontics can, in fact, correct some effects of an orofacial myofunctional disorder such as “buck teeth,” an open bite, cross bite, or otherwise crooked teeth. However, if the oral and facial muscles are not functioning properly, your child is likely to have a relapse in which he or she may require orthodontics again, later in life. The problem must be treated at the source, instead of masking the orofacial myofunctional disorder by correcting only the effects.
Why not fix the problem at the source by undergoing specific orofacial exercises that help retrain the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and face. That is exactly what OMT seeks to do. You can even change your child’s looks if they suffer from an orofacial myofunctional disorder. The best part about OMT is that is it minimally invasive. It just requires that your child follow through with their prescribed exercise program to yield the best results.
Myofunctional therapy should only be prescribed by a professional trained in this area. At Crestview Dental Care, we have a trained myofunctional therapist who has worked with many patients, including children, regain their confidence, and correct their orofacial myofunctional disorder.
If you would like to schedule a consultation for you or your child, please contact us at Crestview Dental Care by calling (865) 268-8781 today.
Crestview Dental Care is here to serve patients in the areas of Maryville and Knoxville, Tennessee.