Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)

OMT can be considered an umbrella term for the treatment of a myriad of abnormal behaviors that interfere with normal orofacial muscle functioning and/or dentofacial development.22,24,32 Historically, OMT has been targeted towards the retraining of tongue habits and postures. However, modern OMT practice has expanded to include management of disorders including mouth breathing, obstructive sleep apnea, forward head posture, tongue thrust, speech pathology, malocclusions and open bites, various parafunctional habits, and dysphagia.13,22,24,33 The broad goals of OMT are to: modify behaviors, eliminate parafunctional habits, improve overall orofacial muscle tone, correct tongue posture, decrease muscular tension, and establish a lip seal and nasal breathing pattern.

This therapy continues to be practiced in a variety of healthcare settings and is used by professionals in the fields of general dentistry, dental hygiene, orthodontics, speech-language pathology, lactation consulting, otolaryngology, osteopathy, and by various medical team members. Due to the wide variety of fields currently utilizing OMT techniques, it has been stated an interdisciplinary approach would be of the most benefit for a comprehensive diagnosis, standard of care, and knowledge sharing between clinicians.24,32,34