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Myofunctional Disorders

 

Many children with speech difficulties have some accompanying Orofacial Myofunctional deficits affecting their speech sounds through muscle movements or compensations of the facial muscles.  

What is (Orofacial) Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy programs address the function of the oral-facial musculature including the tongue, lips, cheeks and jaw. 

We address the open mouth resting posture, tongue “thrusting” during chewing and/or during swallowing, immature chewing patterns, and uncoordinated food manipulation.


Orofacial MyoFunctional Therapy  focuses on remediation of:

  • thumb sucking/finger sucking and other oral habits such as nail biting

  • open mouth resting posture,

  • “tongue thrusting,” 

  • other difficulties that affect appropriate growth and development of the orofacial structures.

Factors related to Myofunctional DIsorders include:

  • allergies

  • enlarged tonsils or adenoids,

  • excessive or extended thumb/finger sucking habits,

  • excessive or extended pacifier or sippy cup use

  • structure abnormalities such as tongue tie or lip tie. 

These factors should be addressed to ensure proper orofacial development.


What is an Orofacial Myofunctional DISORDER?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. 

These can directly or indirectly effect:

  • breastfeeding

  • facial and skeletal growth

  • speech

  • chewing

  • swallowing

  • crowding of teeth

  • stability of orthodontic treatment


How do I know if my child has a Myofunctional Disorder?

  • Does your child have an open mouth at rest or do they breathe through their mouth?

  • Does your child have rest their tongue against their teeth or between their teeth?

  • Have your child’s teeth moved after orthodontic treatment?

  • Does your child’s jaw or neck hurt often?

  • Do you have an incorrect swallowing pattern? (e.g., tongue thrusting in between, forward or sideways against the teeth, chewing with your mouth open)

  • Does your child have oral habits such as thumb, finger or pacifier sucking habits

  • Does your child snore or have ANY audible breathing during sleep?

  • Does your child have a lisp at times when saying the “s” sound?

If you answer “YES” to 4 or more questions, a Myofunctional Therapist may be able to help! Learn more about the International Association of Orofacial Myology at: http://iaom.com/