Oral myofunctional therapy (OMT) consists of exercise routines that adjust the tongue and face muscles. Many people do not know, but the tongue's resting position can affect basic oral functions like eating and swallowing, as well as appearance and speech. orofacial myofunctional therapy may help correct oral muscles through specific exercises. Your dental health and…
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy: Exercises for the Mouth, Tongue, and Face Muscles
Orofacial myofunctional therapy includes exercises that help improve mouth, tongue, and facial muscular strength. Speech pathologists often recommend these exercises for health issues like mouth breathing and sleep apnea. Myofunctional therapy exercises are tailored to each patient's specific demands and medical history. The first step to seeking proper treatment is to tell a speech pathologist about any symptoms or concerns you have.
The need for orofacial myofunctional therapy
Mouth breathing is a problem that dentists often see since it may lead to various oral health issues, such as a dry mouth and an elevated risk of tooth decay and gum disease. As a temporary measure, breathing via the mouth has its benefits, especially when experiencing a cold or after an intense workout. However, it is not healthy over the long term. The mouth should only work for eating, speaking, and breathing during emergencies.
Treatment finds and treats the fundamental cause of persistent mouth breathing, which is commonly an indication of nasal blockage. In certain cases, therapists recommend exercises to help strengthen and rehabilitate weak or imbalanced muscles. According to the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, the treatment goal is to help patients sleep, eat, breathe, and speak better. Aside from speech pathologists, other dentists, orthodontists, and doctors like osteopaths may be involved in therapy.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy exercises
The exercises below are some of the exercises that could be included in an orofacial myofunctional therapy program. It is hard to learn these tactics from a written explanation; instead, the therapist will show the patient how to perform the exercises correctly.
A therapist will suggest a precise number of reps and sets for each exercise. For instance, each exercise may be completed ten times, and repeat each set up to four times daily. Myofunctional therapy exercises are beneficial for both children and adults. Examples include:
Tongue push-up: Place the tongue against the mouth roof, just behind the upper teeth. Hold for five seconds while pushing upward. Do this ten times.
Vowel practice: Say each vowel aloud to improve pronunciation. Repeat a, e, i, o, u loudly for three minutes at a time. Do this routine several times a day.
Tongue clicking: Name a clicking sound on the mouth roof using the tongue. Click continuously for 15 seconds and make the loop ten times.
Nose touch: Try to touch the tip of the nose with the tongue by extending it out. Relax after 10 seconds of holding the pose. Do ten reps of the exercise.
Chin touch: Stick the tongue out and try using it to rub the chin. Relax after 10 seconds of holding the pose. Do this ten times.
Side to side tongue hold: Patients will stick their tongue out and turn it as far left as possible. Take a ten-second break. Do this ten times before moving the tongue to the right.
Tongue roll: This exercise entails rolling the tongue lengthwise. Stick the tongue out while keeping the "roll" intact. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise ten times.
OMF therapy offers relief
Even though the exercises may seem straightforward, a therapist customizes an orofacial myofunctional therapy plan for each patient based on their specific requirements and progress. If you or a child is dealing with orofacial myofunctional disorder, book an appointment with the speech pathologist today to get started.
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