Speech Problems that may develop from an OMD
A person with abnormal oral muscle patterns may suffer a lisp or have difficulty in articulating sounds. If muscles in the tongue and lips are incorrectly postured, this can prevent a person from forming sounds of normal speech.
Improper oral muscle function may additionally lead to TMJ dysfunction, headaches, stomach distress (from swallowing air), airway obstruction, and other health challenges.
Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mild to Moderate OSA
Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). When functioning and used properly, the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face, can reduce obstruction to the airway.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) eliminates many of the causes of swallowing abnormalities and improper rest posture of the tongue.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is painless and the exercises are relatively simple. When certain muscles of the face are activated and functioning properly, other muscles will follow suit until proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles is attained.
For success in this therapy, consistent exercise every day is necessary until the patient has corrected their improper muscle pattern. It also takes commitment by the patient, family – and time.
Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary.
A properly trained myofunctional therapist is one member of the team that will successfully treat an OMD. Other allied professionals such as dentists, orthodontists, and osteopaths can ensure that the patient’s needs are addressed and handled appropriately. We feel that the patient needs to be looked at from a variety of approaches in order to be successful in treatment.