- Orofacial = referring to the mouth & face
- Myofunctional = relating to the action or function of muscles
- Therapy = treatment intended to heal or relieve a disorder
What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is specific exercise-based therapy aimed to improve patterns of oral muscle function; which thereby restores normal and mutual interaction of the muscles of the face and mouth with their functions of breathing, speaking, chewing and swallowing.
These muscles include those of the tongue, lips, jaw, throat, face and neck.
Who may require Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
People who may find orofacial myofunctional therapy an important part of their overall treatment plan are those with what we refer to as an ‘orofacial myofunctional disorder.’ This refers to people who may have ‘habits’ or altered patterns of muscle use in their jaw/face/mouth/neck.
These habits or patterns are typically formed over a lifetime and may commonly be seen in people with a history of:
- mouth breathing
- dummy use
- nail biting
- cheek chewing
- teeth grinding or clenching
- tongue tie
- low tone
- lisping and mechanical speech disorders
- jaw pain or clicking
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy programs available
- Infant pre-frenectomy and post-frenectomy therapy
- Infant feeding support 0-6 months
- Mini-Munchers Program (ages 6mo-2yrs)
- Mighty Jaws Program (ages 2-5yrs)
- Thumbsucking Quit Program (ages 5yrs+)
- Dummy Quit Strategies – all ages
- Older Children & Adult programs devised as per individual requirements based on symptoms and health status & including pre-frenectomy / post-frenectomy therapy as required
With 20 years of Osteopathic experience and in recent years adding orofacial myology to her repertoire Lauren is well-versed in this field.
Osteopathically the goal is always to help our patients get to the root cause of their symptoms. Along with movement I’m sure you’d agree that eating, breathing, communicating and sleeping well are core goals of any healthy body.
Bringing the anatomical, functional and biomechanical knowledge of broader osteopathic therapy together with the specific oral-motor understanding has deepened Lauren’s approach to healthcare immensely.
With this combined platform of knowledge and therapy Lauren integrates her model of care with other relevant professionals depending on what the patient needs. This may include speech pathologists, dentists, lactation consultants, ear, nose & throat (ENT) surgeons, orthodontists, respiratory physicians and sleep specialists.
Lauren is also a recovering mouth-breather and a parent of two children undergoing tongue-tie recovery and orthodontic therapy (1 an ex-thumbuscker; the other a mouth-breather).
She has literally lived and breathed this stuff for decades and is determined to continue to learn more!