Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)

Our team works with children with through adults.

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 (mouth breathing)

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 the result of a combination of factors. Many experts suggest that OMDs may develop as a result of 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 iaom.com.

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