Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Orofacial Myology

For many years, dentists and orthodontists have been aware that pressure exerted
by the tongue and poor lip support can cause changes in dental structures.
Only recently has this been the subject of scientific investigation and therapeutic evaluation.
As orofacial myologists, we become responsible for the diagnosis and the treatment of tongue and lip posturing.

At Sandra R. Coulson & Associates, we cultivate an awareness of muscle use
and develop a therapy program of regular exercises.
The program is designed specifically to your needs and the exercises take about 5 minutes 3 times a day.
Our goal is to strengthen and increase function of the tongue, lips, and facial muscles
which make new neuromuscular patterns habitual. Through therapy, we exchange "bad" habits for good ones!

What Is Orofacial Myology?

Orofacial Myology / Myofunctional Therapy is defined as treatment of the orofacial musculature to improve muscle tonicity. It is the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw, so that normal growth and development may take place or progress in a stable, homeostatic environment. It may include the treatment of parafunctional habits (thumb and finger sucking, lip licking, nail bitting, etc.); or temporomandibular muscle dysfunction as it relates to bruxism / clenching, range of motion activities, or postural habits of the tongue, lips and /or jaw.

The practice of orofacial myology includes the evaluation and treatment of:
· Detrimental oral / facial habits.
· Posturing problems related to the lips, tongue, jaw and respiratory system.
· Abnormal neuromuscular responses associated with improper chewing habits.
· Detrimental breathing patterns.
· Hyper and hypo sensitivity of the orofacial muscles.
· Swallowing patterns which may be associated with malocclusions.
· Facial and postural esthetics.

The overall goals of Orofacial Myology therapy are to assist in the creation, re-establishment or stabilization of a normal oral environment with regard to tongue and lip posturing and function to permit normal processes of growth and development to occur. In most cases, treatment goals, strategies, and objectives are determined in conjunction with primary care providers in dentistry or medicine in a team approach.

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