Desensitization Techniques

Some cases of OMDs may be due to excessive orofacial muscular tension. Elderly populations in particular may have increased rates of muscular tension due to history of stroke, palsies, tooth loss and denture use, polypharmacy, and various comorbidities. Desensitization techniques can be used to decrease orofacial muscular tension, including repeated light touch from the clinician to the patient’s oral and facial muscles as well as intraoral tissues (Figure 15).33 Head and neck cancer screenings can also be used to induce relaxation and release of muscular tension.

Figure 15. Oral muscles before and after desensitization.33

Photo showing desensitization of oral muscles
Photo showing desensitization of oral muscles

Image source: Online Wiley Library