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Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy for All Ages

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) are characterized by atypical movement patterns of the face and mouth during speech, swallowing, or at rest.


OMD often are the underlying cause of challenges such as:

  • Speech sounds being said incorrectly

  • Swallowing difficulty

  • Misaligned teeth and orthodontic relapse

  • Teeth grinding and jaw function

  • Sleep issues

What are the symptoms of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder? 

  • Chronic open-mouthed posture

  • Tongue pushing against the teeth or protruding out of the mouth when swallowing

  • Chewing food with lips open

  • Tongue pushes between the teeth during speech

  • Speech distortions, especially lisp (e.g., sock is pronounced thock)

  • Front teeth that stick out

What are the causes of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder? 

There may be no single cause of OMD. When allergies, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, or other issues cause chronic mouth breathing, a person may develop abnormal mouth postures. Dental disorders including malocclusion, periodontal disorders, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), and dental relapse can also lead to OMD. Tongue ties and lip ties are also contributing factors. Often overlooked by other professionals, a certified Orofacial Myologist is qualified in diagnosing tongue- and lip-ties. After revision, speech therapy is effective in treating speech sound delays and remediating harmful sucking patterns. 


Sleep disorders and sleep apnea, tongue thrust, chronic neck and back pain, headaches, GERD, tinnitus, vertigo, are also contributing factors related to OMD.


Chronic oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, or teeth clenching/grinding, and abnormalities like an overly large tongue or weak mouth muscles can also contribute to OMD. Some children and adults may have genetic tendencies toward these and other factors.

When should therapy begin?

A Certified Orofacial Myologist is qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of tongue-tie and lip-tie. This is often overlooked by many other professionals and often a big piece of the puzzle. Children as young as 3 years old can benefit from an evaluation to determine the underlying causes of obligate mouth breathing, the presence of a lip- or tongue-tie, delayed speech sound development, and/or harmful sucking habits. Based on the evaluation, referrals to other professionals along with immediate recommendations will be made. 

Children, teens, and adults of all ages can benefit from Orofacial Myofunctional therapy programs to achieve lasting results. 

How does Orofacial Myology therapy help?

​Myofunctional therapy utilizes neuromuscular re-education, stimulation, and exercises to recapture a normal dental freeway space, eliminate abnormal muscular pressure on the jaws and teeth, and stabilize the muscles of the mouth and face. Therapy will help:

  • Improve stubborn articulation disorders

  • Improve breathing disorders due to mouth breathing habits

  • Treat the symptoms contributing to TMD when it is a muscle or habit related issue

  • Improve digestive disorders from not chewing properly or swallowing air

  • Reduce the risk of re-attachment of the tongue or lip after surgery 

  • Improve forward head postural problems relating to atypical tongue and mouth postures

  • Assist with faster normalization of the facial muscles and neuromuscular facilitation post orthognathic surgery

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