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This post is the second in a multi part series on the diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment of OMDs. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy, or OMT, is the medical discipline devoted to diagnosing and treating OMDs. One reason why many OMDs go undiagnosed is that OMT is a rapidly emerging field, and many medical professionals are not yet trained to recognize the telltale markers of OMDs. Since OMDs are so numerous and so frequently undiagnosed, nobody knows exactly how common they are, but it’s safe to say that millions of Americans are affected by one OMD or another.
Diagnosis and treatment of OMDs, TMD, and airway issues are all part of Dr. Abeyta’s holistic approach to dentistry and whole body health. After all, given how deeply connected all of these systems are, the only way that makes sense to approach and understand their health is to look at the whole picture.
To get a good overview of the symptoms of some of the most common OMDs, let’s take a brief look back at their definition from part 1, specifically the list of things they affect:
“breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more.” (1)
The most common OMD that affects breastfeeding is a condition called a lip tie. A lip tie occurs when the labial frenulum (the thin membrane of skin connecting the upper lip to the gum line above the front teeth) is too long, and therefore holds the upper lip too closely to the teeth. In breastfeeding infants, a lip tie can cause the mother a lot of pain, and leads to poor latching, poor weight gain, and coughing and spitting up for the baby.
Check back soon for The importance of diagnosing and treating OMDs, part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on treatment of OMDs.