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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)

OMDs & Overall Health

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) can negatively influence overall health. Some of the ways OMDs can affect health include:

1. Sleep and Breathing

OMDs such as mouth breathing can lead to changes in oral posture, potentially affecting the development of the jaw and airway. Sleep concerns can develop such as insomnia, or waking in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep cycles. OMDs can lead to breathing difficulties and exacerbate asthma symptoms, insomnia, sleep apnea, or cause snoring, and lead to fatigue.

2. Emotional Effects

OMDs can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental health, including feelings of anxiety and depression, lowering self-esteem and quality of life. Children with OMDs may experience symptoms that mirror those of ADHD.

3. Dental Consequences

OMDs can lead to issues such as malocclusion or misaligned teeth, inflammation of oral tissues, increased gingivitis and cavities, in addition to jaw joint and facial pain.

4. Digestive

OMDs can affect the muscles used in chewing and swallowing. Dysfunction of these muscles can lead to inadequate chewing, difficulties with swallowing, and potentially causing digestive problems, such as stomach aches or heartburn.

5. Speech Difficulties

OMDs can affect the muscles used in speech, leading to speech difficulties, such as lisping, and other speech impediments.

6. Excess Weight

When we don’t sleep well, it causes our bodies stress. This stress, at a time when we should be resting, leads to the release of the stress hormones leptin and ghrelin. One tells your brain to conserve energy and slows down how many calories you burn, while the other tells you to eat and makes you feel hungry.

7. Frequent Headaches

OMDs can lead to clenching and grinding of your teeth. This excess pressure can cause headaches.

8. Day time fatigue

When we don’t get quality sleep, our energy levels suffer.

9. Posture

Our oral rest posture affects our head and neck posture.

10. Increased risk of high blood pressure

11. Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

12. Increased risk of dementia

13. Increased asthma symptoms

It’s important to seek treatment for OMDs as soon as possible to prevent these negative health impacts and improve overall health. We work cooperatively with other health care providers including dentists, orthodontists, ENTs, sleep specialists, myofascial release practitioners, and more. If you feel you may have an OMD and would like help addressing it, please contact us for a complimentary 30-minute screening call.

What are common signs and symptoms of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)?

It’s important to note that these are just a few symptoms commonly associated with OMDs. The specific symptoms and impact of each disorder can vary from person to person. If you believe you may be experiencing an OMD, a proper evaluation and comprehensive exam is required.

How can Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) help?

Some Orofacial Myofuntional Disorders that OMT can help with include:

Sleep apnea and snoring

Related to poor muscle control of the tongue and throat

Open mouth posture

Breathing through the mouth with lips apart

Tongue thrust

An abnormal swallowing pattern where the tongue pushes against or between the teeth

Jaw and facial pain

Related to muscle function

Thumb or finger sucking habits

Related to poor oral muscle function

Bruxism and Clenching

Teeth grinding and clenching

Orthodontic relapse

Caused by abnormal oral muscle function

Pre & post tongue-tie release

Functional muscle re-education

Speech disorders

Related to tongue, lips, and jaw movement

OMT can also be used to improve the overall function and appearance of the face, mouth, and throat. It can help with issues such as improving facial muscle tone, enhancing breathing through the nose, and improving posture.