Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Treating Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
What is Orofacial Myology?
Orofacial Myology is the study and treatment of oral and facial muscles as they relate to speech, dentition, chewing/bolus collection, swallowing, and overall mental and physical health. This therapy is provided by an Orofacial Myologist. Training in Orofacial Myology is limited to individuals in the professional fields of dentistry, dental hygiene and speech and language pathology. The scope of practice in these fields gives these individuals the ability to recognize Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders.
What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)?
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are abnormal movements and functioning of the lips, tongue or jaw during activities such as speech, swallowing or when at rest. They can affect facial growth and development, breastfeeding, speech, health of the teeth and gums, chewing, swallowing, tempromandibular joint movement and more. OMDs tend to begin with mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing. This practice can lead to adaptation of the muscles of the mouth and face which then leads to dissonance in the functioning abilities of these muscles.
Could you have an OMD?
*Do you have problems with speech?
How are OMDs treated?
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders come in all shapes and sizes and are as unique as the people who present with them. A Registered Dental Hygienist or a Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who has been trained in Orofacial Myology will be able to help you treat an OMD. Your orofacial myologist will fully evaluate your orofacial complex which is made up of the muscles of the lips, tongue, jaw, soft palate and larynx. The function of these muscles individually, and as a whole, is assessed and then an individualized program of exercises, stretches and muscle work is put together to fit the individual's needs. Breaking the habits and re-training muscle memory is difficult, but it can be accomplished if the individual is motivated and committed to their therapy program.
Who can treat OMDs?
A Registered Dental Hygienist or Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist trained specifically to treat Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders.
Mandy Roberts, RDH, BS, CHC
Has been practicing for over 15 years as a clinical Registered Dental Hygienist and is trained in the identification and treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders.
AboutFace OMT, LLC offers Orofacial Myofunctional treatment designed to address each client’s individual need. Telephone consultation is free.
The craniofacial skeleton grows very quickly in childhood. This is the part of the skeleton that will support the upper airway. By 4 years of age, 60% of the adult face is formed. By the early teen years 90% is developed. The American Orthodontic Society recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist for early intervention by the age of 7. But by 7, there may be detrimental habits that have already formed. Children should be evaluated as early as 4 years of age, and sometimes earlier if there are issues that are keeping them from sleeping well, eating, drinking or speaking. Sippy cups and pacifiers also interfere with proper development of the orofacial complex. We can begin to work with children at a young age to habituate good orofacial habits such as breathing through the nose, keeping the lips closed and having the tongue resting on the roof of the mouth.
I love hearing from you, let me know what's on your mind