If you answered YES to any of these questions, you or your child may have an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD).
The orofacial complex is comprised of musculoskeletal structures of the head, face, mouth and neck and their associated functions. If any part of these intricate structures is impaired, dysfunction may occur. For example, then the tongue movement is restricted due to the tongue tie or the muscles of the head and neck are too tight, or too lax, structure can change causing functional problems as listed above. This is known as an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD).
OMD treatment includes a very unique noninvasive approach which involves working with the muscles of the lips, tongue, cheeks and face and their related functions such as breathing, sucking, chewing, swallowing and speech. By promoting proper tongue position and movement this treatment improves and supports all the above mentioned functions. This treatment can also help in correcting head and neck posture; assist in sleep disordered breathing in adults and children, and may eliminate the need for CPAP machines.
There are two physical therapists in our clinic trained in OMD treatment, Marvin Galarosa and Bella Kavalerchik. Both of us were trained through the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT). Marvin Galarosa is also a Certified Cervical and Temporomandibular Therapist (CCTT) from the Physical Therapy Board of Craniofacial and Cervical Therapy with additional training by Dr. Rocabado at St. Augustine University.
As Physical Therapists, we use Manual Therapy to release tissue restrictions, relax tight and tense facial and jaw muscles, improve jaw, tongue and lips position and range of motion. We also incorporate specific exercises to strengthen the tongue, jaw and facial muscles, improve these muscles flexibility and range of motion. In addition, we work on entire body to eliminate postural and jaw misalignment, decrease pain and discomfort with head, neck and back movements. We also use specific protocols for bad oral habits elimination such as thumb sucking, nail biting or using a pacifier beyond 2 years of age.
A team approach is very important when it comes to myofunctional disorders treatment. Speech and occupational therapists, dentists, lactation consultants, craniosacral therapists, orthodontists and oral surgeons, ENT doctors and sleep specialists are also a part of the myofunctional therapy team, and each profession add it's specific treatment options to achieve the best results.