What is Orofacial Myology?

Orofacial Myology involves the synthesis of so many areas of expertise that the definitions seem to be infinite. Trying to articulate all that it involves in a simple way is challenging.  The following will give you an overview:

“The study and treatment of oral and facial muscles as they relate to speech, dentition, chewing/bolus collection, swallowing and overall mental and physical health.”

(Sandra Holtzman)

Orofacial Myology

  • Enhances the quality of life
  • Corrects noxious habits that may affect growth and development
  • Addresses the causes of many problems rather than chasing the symptoms.

    (Joy Moeller)

Orofacial Myology treatment includes

  • Improvement of muscle tonicity
  • Establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and mandible
  • Using simple and fun methods
  • Exercises create patterns of muscle function to aid in the creation and maintenance of a healthy, adaptive environment of the face and mouth.

    (Sandra Holtzman)

In other words, orofacial myologists help people use the muscles of their face and mouth to breathe, chew and swallow in a functionally correct and healthy way.

Orofacial Myofunctional disorders are “any pattern involving oral and or orofacial musculature that interferes with normal growth, development or funciton of structures or calls attention to itself.”

  (ASHA, 1993)

These conditions can be improved with Orofacial Myotherapy:

Thumb sucking, finger, blanket and pacifier sucking, nail biting
Tongue thrust– forward tongue rest posture
Abnormal swallowing patterns
Abnormal functional breathing patterns
Abnormal neuromuscular patterns related to bolus formation, deglutition and mastication
Forward Head Posture
Open Mouth Posture
Teeth Moving after Orthodontics
Food lodging in the vestibule above the teeth (aging mouth dysfunction– “long of tooth”)

Orofacial Myotherapists do not directly treat TMJ Dysfunction or Obstructive Sleep Apnea but there is evidence that those suffering with these problems may see improvement after therapy.  We see many patients with these conditions who have found improvement in these symptoms.

 What can I expect?
The best results are obtained when the exercises are done daily.
Therapy generally lasts between 4 and 12 months.  The program can be modified to fit your schedule and budget.  Appointments range from weekly to monthly.
The exercises do not cause pain.  Many of them are fun and even a little silly.
Caution: laughter may be a side-effect.
A major side effect of the therapy is improved appearance.  We’re sorry, we can’t seem to avoid that and you’ll just have to live with looking younger and more attractive!

Facial Rejuvenation-  When the muscles tighten the face looks better, younger, lifted without injections or surgery.  It has been reported that in Brazil plastic surgeons work with Orofacial Myotherapists to get the best benefit for their patients. For those seeking this benefit please visit Mira!Bella! Facial Rejuvenation.