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Myofunctional Therapy

Lori Miller,  COM®
Orofacial Myologist

A comprehensive approach to improve functions related to swallowing, oral habits, and nasal breathing.

This is where is starts! Is there a lack of function…..or dysfunction that needs to be corrected?  The dysfunction we call OMD’s - orofacial myofunctional disorders.  Scroll down for more information about  OMD's .  An evaluation will highlight the causes, the areas that can be improved and the treatment plan options
This part is "patient-led" and/or referred by other professionals.
What are our goals?



This is the part where we look at the structure we are starting with.  Is there a foundational reason someone can’t breath through their nose? Is there an anatomical reason the tongue can’t raise up for a proper swallow or pushes forward against the teeth during the swallow?  Is there a structural limitation for breastfeeding or speech development?  Many of the structural issues get help from other providers.  This is the area that becomes very multi-disciplinary as we all work toward common goals of proper function and improved health.



This is the most unique piece of the puzzle.  I love helping people find excellent solutions that move them forward toward their goals.  The myofunctional therapy programs range from short programs to eliminate sucking habits to longer programs designed to re-train sensory motor patterns through custom designed exercise programs over longer periods of time.  I believe solutions start from research and educating ourselves. 

Click here to for more detailed information on these topics (

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What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD's)  ?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD's ) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth.  They can arise from genetic, developmental and environmental factors and be influenced by learned behaviors.  OMD’s include: tongue thrusting, chronic mouth breathing, sucking habits, speech articulation issues and swallowing issues.

The causes of OMD’s can be structural; airway interference issues, facial and oral developement,  tongue-tie (ankyloglossia)  or the result of learned behaviors (sucking habits) during critical times of development.  There is rarely just one cause as one issue usually leads to another.

OMD’s can present issues at all ages.  They can affect breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing and sleep breathing.  Over time, some OMD’s can result in dental malocclusion (open bite) and can play a role in TMJ issues.

It's a big topic, right?  Click here if you like digging into the details and reading the latest research articles.



What is

Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional Therapy takes in all the contributing factors and works to unravel the situation, retrain where needed and refer as necessary.  Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is a series of exercises and therapeutic techniques designed to optimize the function of the oral/facial muscles through neuromuscular retraining.

The Goals of Myofunctional Therapy 

  • Nasal breathing

  • Lip seal

  • Proper tongue position

  • Correct chewing and swallowing pattern

  • To help eliminate sucking and undesirable oral habits


The primary purpose of orofacial myofunctional therapy is to create an oral environment in which normal processes of orofacial and dental growth and development can take place, and be maintained (Hanson & Mason, 2003).”


Therapy programs that start with a complete evaluation.  We look at the groups of muscles that are under-performing or have developed inappropriate muscle function.   We explore the Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD's) explained above.   In a patient-led discussion, we review the advantages of improving the function taking into account the patient’s goals.

Typical programs involve learning and practicing exercises for the areas that need improvement.  Often there are referrals to other providers when help is needed with the structures we are working with or co-treatment to help us get to our goals.  This is a multi-disciplinary field working with Dentists, Orthodontists, Oral Surgeons, Lactation Specialists, Speech Language Therapists, Body Workers (IE: Cranio-Sacral Therapists, Massage/Rolfing Specialists), Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists.

The myofunctional therapy programs range from short programs to eliminate sucking habits to longer programs designed to re-train sensory motor patterns through custom designed exercise programs over longer periods of time.

Therapies & Services

About Me
            Lori is a Board Certified Orofacial Myologist (COM®) and a Breathe Institute Ambassador.  She completed a Laser Certification Program through the Academy of Laser Dentistry.  Lori began her studies in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy  with the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT).  She did an advanced mentorship  program with Sarah Hornsby.   She studied with Brooke Pettus in the Infant and Toddler Myofunctional Program.  Lori completed the The Breathe Institute's Functional Sleep, Breath &  OMT Course and training with Timothy King on NeuroMyoFascial release technique known as FNFT for orofacial pain.  Lori is a Certified Instructor for Oxygen Advantage® Functional Buteyko Breathing.  She continued her training in Orofacial Myology with the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) and is now a Board Certified Orofacial Myologist. 

​Member IAOM  International Association of Orofacial Myology
Member AOMT Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Member AAMS  Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences
Member ADHA  American Dental Hygienists' Association
Member MDHA  Montana Dental Hygienists' Association

Member WSDHA  Washington State Dental Hygiene Association
Member IAAH International Association of Airway Hygienists

Ambassador, The Breathe Institute

Every therapy patient has a different story
and a unique path to better health.

I love collaborating with other providers and putting all the pieces together to help restore optimum health for my patients    ~    Lori
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Get In Touch


Mailing Address:

PO Box 4487

 Whitefish, MT 59937

 Tel: 360-317-7444


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