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What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) refers to any abnormal pattern in the form and function of the muscles of the face and mouth (e.g., how the muscles are used for breathing, eating, talking).

Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) focuses on retraining muscles to be in the correct position at rest and to function together to have a positive impact on speech, breathing, and facial growth. This individualized therapy program focuses on correct oral rest posture, oral phase swallow, oral habit elimination, and the habituation of nasal breathing.

Signs & Symptoms of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders - In Young Children

  • Open mouth posture and audible breathing during the daytime, poor nasal breathing

  • Nighttime habits including bed wetting, not sleeping through the night, clenching

  • Airway obstruction including sinus obstruction, enlarged tonsils/adenoids

  • High, narrow palate

  • Picky eating, limited food repertoire, soft food preference

  • Prolonged hard-spouted sippy cup usage

  • Drooling past 2 years of age

  • Tongue, lip, buccal ties

  • Atypical speech sound productions

  • Low, forward tongue position (tongue thrust swallow)

  • Lip incompetence (inability to maintain lip closure, closed-mouth posture at rest)

  • Sleep disordered breathing

See the "self-check" list below for more information about possible signs/symptoms of orofacial myofunctional disorders in children!

Signs & Symptoms of Orofacial Myofunctional Disoders - In School-Age Children & Adults

  • All of the above signs/symptoms in addition to:

    • Poor oral care

    • Forward head posture

    • Dental malocclusion (overjet, overbite, underbite)

    • Orthodontic relapse

    • Continued speech sound errors

    • Sleep disordered breathing

 

 

See the "self-check" list below for more information about possible signs/symptoms of

orofacial myofunctional disorders in adults!

Self-Check: Child

The questions below may indicate signs and symptoms that may be associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders in children:

  • Does your child breathe through their mouth during the day and/or while sleeping?

  • Does your child snore?

  • Is your child tired during the day? 

  • Does your child have their mouth open with their tongue in-between their teeth while reading or watching T.V.?

  • Does your child suck their thumb/finger/tongue/lip or have prolonged pacifier use?

  • Does your child suffer from asthma/allergies?

  • Does your child suffer with bedwetting?

  • Is your child a messy eater?

  • Does your child struggle with emotional regulation, learning difficulties or show signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?

  • Does your child have difficulty correctly making certain sounds (even with previous speech therapy):

    • Frontal lisp for 's' (e.g., "thoup" for "soup")?​

    • Distorted/harsh sound for 'sh', 'ch', 'dj'?

    • 'w' or vowel-like sound for 'l' or 'r'

If you answered "YES" to any of the questions above, book a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your concerns and how orofacial myofunctional therapy could help your child!

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Self-Check: Adult

The questions below may indicate signs and symptoms that may be associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders in adults:

  • Do you have dental malocclusion (e.g., open bite, overjet, overbite, underbite, crowded/crooked teeth)?

  • Have your teeth moved even after orthodontic treatment (e.g., braces)?

  • Does your tongue come forward and push against your teeth or between your teeth when you swallow?

  • Does your tongue rest against or in between your teeth?

  • Do you breathe through your mouth?

  • Do you snore?

  • Do you get frequent headaches or migraines?

  • Do you suffer from allergies/asthma?

  • Do you suffer from neck or jaw pain?

  • Do you chew with your mouth open?

  • Do you have oral habits (e.g., chewing on items such as pens, fingernail biting, thumb sucking)?

  • Do you have speech sound errors (even with previous speech therapy)?

    • Frontal lisp for 's' (e.g., "thoup" for "soup")?​

    • Distorted/harsh sound for 'sh', 'ch', 'dj'?

    • 'w' or vowel-like sound for 'l' or 'r'

If you answered "YES" to any of the questions above, book a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your concerns and how orofacial myofunctional therapy could help you!

Other Programs Available​

Oral Habit Elimination programs are also available which include:

  • Thumb/finger sucking

  • Tongue sucking

  • Lip sucking/biting

  • Prolonged pacifier use

Top: Baseline photo

Bottom: Oral Habit Elimination program

completion - 6 weeks later

Book a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss our oral habit elimination program!

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