Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge in the absence of normalized patterns within the orofacial complex. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can often result in a variety of disturbances.

Examples of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders include one or a combination of the following:

  • Thumb and finger sucking habits, pacifier sucking, nail biting
  • A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
  • A forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
  • Tongue thrust
  • Abnormal swallowing patterns
  • Abnormal functional breathing patterns

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are often related to or can contribute to a variety of medical and dental disorders. These disorders can include:

  • Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
  • Periodontal disorders
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Changes associated with abnormal jaw growth and position

What are some of the causes of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

It is often difficult to isolate a particular source as the sole cause of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder and in most cases, it can be result of a combination of factors. Many experts suggest that OMDs may develop as a result from the following:

  • A restricted nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, and/or allergies.
  • Improper oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, cheek/nail/cuticle biting, teeth clenching/grinding, and tongue, lip or cheek sucking
  • Extended use of a pacifier and/or long-term use of sippy cups
  • Structural or physiological abnormalities which may include a short lingual frenum (tongue-tie)
  • Neurological deficits and developmental delays
  • Hereditary predisposition

You can learn more about Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders here.

Our orofacial myofunctional therapists are trained to treat:

  • Lisps of all types
  • Other articulation disorders (specific sounds, imprecision, etc)
  • Phase One Swallow symptoms and difficulties
  • Poor eating habits
  • Oral habits
  • Mouth breathing
  • Tongue tie/restricted lingual frenum
  • Open bites that interfere with acceptable speech production, chewing and swallowing
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