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Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy for Children, Teens, & Adults

At The Therapy Station, we specialize in providing myofunctional therapy to address challenges in the following areas:

Speech Disorders • Tongue & Lip Ties • Tongue Thrust • Orthodontic Relapse • Feeding & Swallowing Disorders • Teeth Grinding • Open Mouth Breathing • Sleep Issues

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

  • Tongue thrust

  • Incorrect tongue resting posture

  • Teeth grinding and jaw function

  • Sleep issues

  • Oral habits that are difficult to break such as thumb sucking, finger sucking, nail biting, tongue or lip sucking

What are the symptoms of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder? 

​Here are some common signs and symptoms of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) that children, teens, and adults may experience: 

  • 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

  • Thumb sucking, nail biting, pen chewing

  • Teeth grinding

  • Jaw pain, facial tension, neck pain

What are the causes of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder? 

Your or your child's myofunctional disorder might not have a single identifiable cause. Often, allergies can lead to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, resulting in chronic mouth breathing and abnormal mouth postures. Dental issues such as malocclusion, gum diseases, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), and dental relapse are also potential contributors.

An Orofacial Myologist and myofunctional therapists specialize in identifying conditions like tongue- and lip-ties, which can affect myofunctional health. Following any necessary revisions, speech therapy can be very effective in addressing speech sound delays and correcting harmful sucking habits.

Additionally, several other factors may play a role in myofunctional disorders (OMD), including sleep apnea, tongue thrust, chronic neck and back pain, headaches, acid reflux (GERD), tinnitus, and vertigo.

Chronic oral habits such as thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use, teeth clenching/grinding, as well as physical anomalies like an overly large tongue or weak mouth muscles might also contribute. In some cases, genetics may predispose children and adults to these and other contributing factors.

When should therapy begin?

A Certified Orofacial Myologist is qualified to diagnose and treat tongue-tie and lip-tie. Many other professionals overlook this, which is 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. 

Child with a tongue-tie receiving myofunctional therapy in St. Louis, MO
Adult participating in myofunctional therapy to improve TMD

How does myofunctional therapy help?

​Myofunctional therapy focuses on retraining and strengthening the muscles of the mouth and face to address the underlying cause of the myofunctional disorder. Myofunctional therapy will help:

  • Improve stubborn articulation disorders

  • Improve open-mouth breathing

  • 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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