Oral Myology

Oral Myology

Helps to address dysfunctional muscle patterns that are a part of swallowing, chewing, speaking and breathing by strengthening the tongue and other facial muscles.

Oral Myology in Calgary

What is orofacial myology?

Helps to address dysfunctional muscle patterns that are a part of swallowing, chewing, speaking and breathing by strengthening the tongue and other facial muscles.

Our job is to help balance those muscle patterns so that you (or your child) can have better function.

We help to create new muscle patterns through orofacial exercises and other assessments that are lasting, changing the behavior of mouth breathing, open mouth rest posture, and poor tongue posture. Often times, these maladaptive habits and patterns of orofacial function can lead to issues involving:

  • facial skeletal growth
  • sleep-disordered breathing (including snoring and sleep apnea)
  • oral hygiene and dental problems
  • grinding and clenching
  • temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
  • neck and shoulder tension
  • speech problems
  • facial esthetics
  • And more…as research keeps expanding on the area

What else can OM help with?

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Digit (finger) sucking
  • Tongue ties
  • Hair pulling
  • Postural issues
  • Nail biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Swallowing
  • Chewing
  • Snoring
  • Dental arch alignment

The overall goals of the orofacial myologist are:

(Courtesy of Sandra Coulson)

  1. To assist in the creation, re-establishment or stabilization of a normal oral environment with regard to lingual and labial posturing and;
  2. Teaching clients how to restore healthy function facilitating normal processes of growth and development to occur.
  3. To create, re-establish, or stabilize appropriate healthy postural and functional or orofacial muscle patterns.
  4. A team approach in conjunction with primary care providers in dentistry or medicine to determine client learning goals, strategies, and objectives.

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy: http://aomtinfo.org/myofunctional-therapy


(courtesy of Dr. Soroush Zaghi, MD. See zaghimd.com)

“Recent research has shown that myofunctional therapy may reduce the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (such as snoring), and ameliorate mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). It has also been shown to prevent relapse of sleep apnea after surgical treatment. In addition, myofunctional therapy exercises play a critically important role in recovery after lingual frenuloplasty and to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment.”

  1. Myofunctional therapy provides a reduction in AHI of approximately 50% in adults and 62% in children.
  2. Improvements to daytime sleepiness and snoring.
  3. Shown effective in children and adults of all ages studied thus far:
    • Youngest patient: 3 years old
    • Oldest patient: 60 years old
  1. Important role in preventing relapse

How it works at the clinic:

The patient will have a very thorough and comprehensive assessment, where a series of measurements, photos, and videos of your face, lips, and teeth, as well as general posture photos will be taken to show the relationship between your mouth, teeth, jaws, and the rest of your body.  Any necessary xrays will also be taken, or will be arranged to be taken at a convenient time. After the data collection visit, you will be booked back in to discuss the findings. In this second visit, all findings and your oral myology plan will be explained to you in detail, along with an indication if additional treatment from other specialized healthcare providers is required

In your first session of the oral myology program, you will be provided with the necessary supplies to begin the program, along with the first week of exercises. During subsequent visits, measurements and/or photos will again be taken and compared with initial measurements and/or photos to evaluate your progress through your program. The total number of therapy sessions required for correction of your particular problem varies considerably from patient to patient. The probable number of visits necessary will be determined at your initial evaluation and will be re-evaluated as therapy progresses. Once treatment has been completed, it is important that a patient has a 3 month follow up check, with additional occasional check-ups to monitor continued proper use of the facial muscles, perhaps even correlating to your dental check ups.

Please refer to the Airway section of our website to see how oral myology fits into the bigger picture of the airway.