Oral Myofunctional Therapy

Northstar Dental Care


Oral Myofunctional Therapy

Signs and symptoms of orofacial myofunctional disorders may include:

  • Tongue-tie
  • Tongue thrust
  • Open mouth breather
  • Dental abnormalities, such as excessive anterior overjet anterior, bilateral, unilateral or posterior open bite and underbite.
  • Abnormal tongue rest posture
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Drooling and poor oral posture
  • Lisping
  • Distorted production of certain sounds
  • Nonnutritive sucking habits such as thumb, cheek
  • Poor body posture

Oral myofunctional therapy is the study and treatment of oral and facial muscles related to speech, dentition, chewing, food collection, swallowing, and overall mental and physical health.

The muscles of the mouth and face play a critical part in life-sustaining tasks such as breathing, eating, swallowing, communicating, expressing emotions, and overall healthy cranial facial growth.

When there is an impairment in the function of oral and facial muscles, an oral myofunctional therapist will apply neuromuscular exercises to strengthen and tone the muscles to recapture and stabilize a normal resting relationship between the tongue, lips, teeth, and jaw. The exercises are tailored for each individual and are easy and fun to do.

Oral myofunctional disorders (OMD) can be found in children, adolescents, and adults. No single cause has been identified, and its causes seem to be multifactorial. OMD can co-occur with a variety of speech and swallowing disorders. OMD may reflect the interplay of learned behaviors, physical/structural variables, genetic and environmental factors.

Assessment of orofacial myofunctional disorders has many possible aspects, which often require an integrated team approach. The therapist should refer and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

The primary purpose of the therapy is to create an oral environment in which normal processes of orofacial dental growth and development can take place and be maintained.

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