The reason for this website is simple, I want to share this knowledge of Orofacial Myology. I am often asked what is Orofacial Myology? As defined by the professional organization International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM), Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is the treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional disorders (OMD). The prefix “myo” means muscle. OMD involves a variety of postural and functional disorders including sucking habits, and inappropriate oral posture, or functions of the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face. A common disorder familiar to the public is “tongue thrust”, where the tongue rests against or between the front or side teeth during swallowing, rather than lifting up into palate (roof of the mouth). Tongue thrusting frequently occurs with a low forward resting posture of the tongue, with lips apart posture. Just as controlled continuous forces of orthodontic appliances (braces) can move teeth, abnormal postures and functions in the oral cavity, can contribute to the development of dental malocclusions, such as incorrectly positioned teeth, an improper bite relationship or other problems related to oral facial muscle dysfunction or malfunction of the bones of the dental arches.
This emerging therapeutic treatment is starting to be known here in the United States. It is professionalized to physicians, dentists, dental hygienists and speech pathologists.
YES! The abnormal functions and postures of OMD can adversely impact proper dental growth, and even lengthen orthodontic treatment. Orthodontist have actually brought these facts to the public as early as the 1900’s. Tongue thrusting can possibly cause a relapse after orthodontic treatment. Another common problem found among individuals with tongue thrusting is the habitual open-lip resting posture (lip incompetence). This phenomenon prevents the development and maintenance of open dental arch.
OMD also negatively affects the development of dentition, especially with the alignment of teeth and jaws. In addition, the eruption pattern can be negatively affected. Based on recent research, over 80% of speech patterns are a direct result of tongue thrusting. It has been found that traditional speech therapy is not as effective when a combination of OMD and speech errors are evident.
Tongue and Thumb Thrusting
My dedication to orofacial myology has been fueled by my experience as a practicing dental hygienist. My own experience of the consequences of thumbsucking until the age of 13 have affected my bite and led to braces three times. In later years, my son-developed tongue sucking habits, leading to a cross bite that required orthodontic intervention at a very young age.
Oral Myology Therapist Marsha Artaud
As a dental hygienist for almost 23 years, understanding the cause of disease, and employing several concepts for plaque control, is important, but not enough. Shorter frequency for periodontal maintenance and due diligence, with daily oral hygiene habits, provide relief from inflammation, but bleeding gums seize up again.
Through my training, I realized how vital it is to understand how we use our muscles in habitual patterns both consciously and unconsciously. Correct good habits are great, it is the incorrect habits that we are unaware that cause negative effects over time. The incorrect habits of any part of our body cause abnormalities or disorders that affect our form and function from an early age, and are continued throughout adulthood, unless recognized and changed.
From my training through internationally renowned experts in the field of Orofacial Myology-tongue thrust therapy and thumbsucking prevention, I have gained a wealth of experience in treatment and habit elimination for children and adults.
If you are reading my site, it is likely that you or someone you know, have the desire to make a change. My program with Tongue and Thumb Therapy is effective, affordable and non-invasive and may address many problems. I combine my extensive knowledge with a friendly, engaging and evidence-based program.
It is my hope that you’ll find a positive course of action that will benefit you and/or someone you care about. Call me, we can discuss your concerns and solutions further.