What Is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

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 period of six to 12 months, although treatment duration may vary.


Multidisciplinary Approach

The multidisciplinary approach to orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) is a key aspect of ensuring comprehensive and effective treatment for individuals with orofacial myofunctional disorders. OMT recognizes that these issues often require a collaborative effort from various healthcare professionals to address the underlying causes and provide holistic care.

A properly trained myofunctional therapist is one member of the team who 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 to be successful in treatment.

OMT Techniques and Exercises

In the field of orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT), various techniques and exercises are employed to address specific issues related to improper oral functions. These techniques aim to retrain the muscles involved in chewing, swallowing, breathing, and speaking. Here are some common OMT techniques and exercises:

  • Tongue positioning: One of the fundamental aspects of OMT is correcting tongue posture. Patients learn how to rest their tongues against the roof of their mouth instead of pushing them against their teeth or allowing them to fall back into the throat.
  • Lip strengthening: Weak lip muscles can contribute to difficulties with swallowing, speech articulation, and overall oral function. Through targeted exercises such as lip presses or resistance training using a small balloon, individuals can strengthen these muscles for improved control.
  • Swallowing training: Many people have an incorrect swallowing pattern known as "tongue thrust." This involves pushing the tongue forward during swallowing instead of pressing it against the roof of the mouth. OMT aims to correct this by teaching proper tongue placement during swallowing.
  • Breathing exercises: Proper nasal breathing is essential for optimal health and facial development. Our orofacial myofunctional therapist can teach patients various breathing exercises aimed at improving airflow through the nose while discouraging mouth breathing.
  • Myofunctional appliances: In some cases, specialized appliances may be used alongside OMT techniques to aid in correcting oral dysfunctions effectively. These appliances can help align teeth, improve jaw positioning, or promote proper muscle function.

Positive Impact

Myofunctional therapy can have a positive impact on patients' lives. This is how:

  • Myofunctional therapy offers a holistic approach to addressing myofunctional disorders, allowing patients to regain the joy of eating, speaking, breathing, and even sleeping more soundly. By focusing on correcting oral habits and improving tongue posture, this therapy can have profound effects on a patient's overall well-being and quality of life.
  • Not only does myofunctional therapy provide functional benefits, but it also helps in enhancing cosmetic improvements. Through targeted exercises and techniques, patients can restore their confidence and boost their self-esteem.

At our clinic, we strongly believe that everyone deserves to be educated about orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) so they can understand the impact it has on their health. We are committed to treating individuals who suffer from OMDs by providing them with specialized care tailored to their unique needs.

Our goal is not just limited to individual treatment; we strive towards increasing awareness of orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) amongst medical professionals, dental experts, as well as academic communities worldwide. Ultimately, orofacial myofunctional therapy gives patients more than just a healthy smile; it empowers them with the ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures once again.

Ready to set up an appointment? Get in touch with Southwest Myofunctional Therapy through our Contact Us page. Online consultations are available!


4800 Juan Tabo Blvd NE STE D,
Albuquerque, NM 87111

Office Hours

MON - THU8:30 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUNBy appointments only