What are Oromyofunctional Disorders?

What are Oromyofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, mandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial aesthetics, and more.

What Is Oromyofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is a series of exercises of the lips, jaw, tongue, cheeks and palate designed to re-pattern the oral and facial muscles to promote proper tongue position, improve proper breathing, chewing and swallowing. 

Effects of Oromyofunctional Disorders

Incorrect swallowing, chewing and tongue resting position can have a detrimental effect on your child’s:

  • ability to breathe effectively
  • ability to sleep effectively
  • feeding ability to move food around in the mouth
  • dental and facial growth
  • speech articulation
  • oral hygiene (cavities)
  • social interactions (open mouth breathing, tongue out of mouth, drooling)


Common signs of Oromyofunctional Disorders

Common signs of an orofacial myofunctional disorder include:

  • Difficulty breathing through the nose due to allergies, enlarged tonsils, or enlarged adenoids
  • Tongue tie
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Narrow roof of mouth (palate)
  • Forward tongue movement during speech and/or swallowing

Additional issues that may contribute to an orofacial myofunctional disorder include:

  • Prolonged pacifier use
  • Prolonged thumb, finger or tongue sucking

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