Living in the town of Crested Butte is awesome because despite our small size, we have access to some really progressive treatments. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is one of them! Here is a quick description of what OMT is and why you should ask us about it.
OMT is the neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles. OMT includes facial and tongue exercises and behavior modification techniques. We teach patients how to chew, swallow, seal lips and breathe correctly. We work on habits, such as thumb sucking, which leads to poor muscle patterns that can affect total body health. When patients have good rest posture, there is stability in the orofacial complex and both form and function are able to develop properly.
We use OMT to treat symptoms of a wide variety of health issues including opening airways, chronic headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), and poor digestion to name a few. It may also be the most profound therapy available for the treatment of mild- to- moderate sleep apnea. Sleep apnea has recently gained more recognition because doctors are realizing how many more people it affects than originally thought and can be deadly. Every population and body type is affected by sleep apnea…even young children!
There are several signs and symptoms of patterning problems with the orofacial muscles. Some of these include but are not limited to the following:
- Chronic headaches
- Open mouth rest posture and/or mouth breathing
- Movement of teeth or relapse after orthodontic treatment
- Open bite (meaning your front teeth don’t overlap top over bottom)
- TMJ pain and/or neck pain
- Oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, nail biting, lip licking, or hair chewing
- “Lisp” when saying “S” sounds
- Grinding and/or clenching teeth
- Chronic stomach aches, burping, bloating, drooling, or hiccups
- Have a “tongue-tie”
- Sleep walking, talking in your sleep or night terrors
HOW DOES OUR OFFICE USE OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY?
At Crested Butte Family Dental, we have one of the only CTs on the market that has a specific program for diagnosing airway restrictions. We are able to take before and after images to see the exact progress made through therapy.
Our dental hygienist, Mandy, is passionate about providing her patients with comprehensive care. She spends time diagnosing and then detailing a customized treatment plan for each patient with individual exercises and monitors your improvement closely. Going through “Myo” therapy is life-changing for patients who now sleep and breath and function at a higher level.