(708) 383-0330

Did you know that certain habits like poor posture, thumb sucking, breathing through the mouth, and even thrusting the tongue forward while speaking or swallowing could be signs of an orofacial myofunctional disorder or OMD? 

So what is orofacial myofunctional disorder? And what is myofunctional therapy? Orofacial myofunctional disorder refers to various movement patterns or behaviors that adversely affect the face and mouth. People of all ages can suffer from OMDs, although it is imperative to look out for OMDs in children due to their negative impact on growth and development. Luckily, myofunctional therapy can correct these problems by retraining facial or mouth muscles through various exercises and behavioral techniques. 

If you believe you or your child might benefit from myofunctional therapy, call (708) 383-0330 now to make an appointment at Town & Country Dental. Our team is passionate about tailoring effective treatment plans to help you and your family thrive. 

Keep reading to discover more about myofunctional therapy and who can benefit from it. 

What are the signs of an orofacial myofunctional disorder?

Here are a few behaviors that may indicate that you or your child is suffering from an OMD: 

  • Mouth breathing: Regularly breathing through the mouth rather than the nose 
  • Difficulty with speech: Lisping, difficulty enunciating, or other struggles with articulation
  • Trouble swallowing: Note any issues your child has with swallowing, such as gagging or choking
  • Tongue thrusting: Pushing the tongue forward against the teeth at rest or while swallowing
  • Open mouth: Habitually resting with the mouth open

Additionally, particular dental issues, such as dental malocclusion, could be the result of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD). However, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association points out that these symptoms could result from issues other than an OMD. That’s why it is essential to consult with a dentist who can offer a diagnosis and determine if you or your child could benefit from monofunctional therapy. 

What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is the process of re-training oral and facial muscles through a series of tailored exercises and behavioral changes. As we’ve noted in a previous post, treatments focus on improving the strength and positioning of oral structures. A personalized treatment plan could include:

  • Working to reset the resting posture of the tongue and lips
  • Learning to stop sucking on thumb or fingers
  • Learning to stop clenching the jaw
  • Exercises to improve breathing
  • Exercises to strengthen weak oral or facial muscles

These are just a few examples of myofunctional therapies. If your dentist determines that myofunctional therapy is right for you or your child, an orofacial myofunctional clinician will create a unique course of action to suit your situation. 

What are the benefits of myofunctional therapy? 

Since myofunctional therapy has various applications, the positive impacts vary widely. One of the most compelling reasons to seek out myofunctional therapy is that it is a non-surgical, non-invasive form of treatment with potentially life-long benefits that can improve overall well-being in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Improved ability to eat, breathe, sleep, or speak
  • Improved cosmetic appearance 
  • Corrected jaw growth 
  • Release of tension in the face and jaw
  • Prevention of dental abnormalities such as overbites or underbites

Don’t wait to experience the benefits of myofunctional therapy. Make your appointment with Town & Country Dental today by scheduling online or calling (708) 383-0330.