OMFT, or Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, is an important part of treating a tongue tie for children above 4 years of age as well as for adults.

What is OMFT and why is it important?

When releasing a tongue tie, the mobility of the tongue is increased. This enables the muscles of the tongue to be used as intended. Often if the tongue has been restricted for years, there are entire muscles that have never been used or have been used in unintended ways. These muscles need to be trained in the exact same way you would train any other muscle in your body after surgery.

For more information on how to treat a tongue tie, read here.

OMFT is short for Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. This can be translated into something akin to “muscle function therapy for mouth and face” or put in a modern way: “Fitness for the tongue and face”.

In some cases, OMFT can out train many tongue tie related symptoms.

For more information on tongue tie symptoms, read here.

For obvious reasons, it is not possible to perform OMFT on babies, as they cannot follow instructions. Often though, they tend to be able to correct their technique through breastfeeding. To help this along you can stick sweet substances on the lips, palate or teeth, to stimulate the baby to lick this off, training mobility further.

What does OMFT do?

Many people with tongue ties compensate with the tongue by pushing it forward instead of up towards the palate. This often results in either underbite, overbite, deep bite or crooked teeth. For years the treatment of these conditions, have been to install braces on the teeth to correct them. If the cause is a tongue tie though, quite often the teeth will go crooked again once the braces are taken off.

The tongue is a powerful muscle and it pushes at your teeth with a strength of about 500 grams. To compare, it takes no more than 7 grams of resistance to move your teeth. Add to this, that we swallow about 2000 times a day, and it is no wonder why the teeth bend.

If your tongue cannot reach your palate, it cannot do the function it is intended to do, which is to shape your skull. Therefore, people with tongue ties often suffer from a high and slim palate, because the tongue has not been able to form the palate to make it wide and flat. This can result in an elongated head shape but can also reduce airflow through the nose. This is why many people suffering from a tongue tie breathe through their mouth.

There are many studies that show how breathing through the mouth leads to enlarged tonsils, polyps, a weakened immune system, sleeping disorders and an increased risk of a variety of both physical and mental illness.

By training the tongue to lie right in the mouth, in most cases these problems can be remedied.

To learn more about OMFT, visit “The Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy” here.

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