Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)?

Hanson (1982) defined OMD as “abnormal resting labial-lingual posture of the oral-facial musculature, atypical chewing and swallowing patterns, dental malocclusions, blocked nasal airways, and speech problems.”  This commonly manifests as tongue thrust, open mouth posture, lisping, mouth breathing, teeth grinding, clenching, low tongue rest posture in the mouth, and other maladaptive habits.

 

Children, teens, and adults can all present with an OMD. It is truly never too late to address the issues that are contributing to your orofacial myofunctional disorder.

The ProAACtive SLP focuses on addressing the root of why the dysfunction is occurring and then addressing those specific areas. Based on the complexity of the root issue, your therapist may recommend referrals to other service providers (dentists, orthodontists, ENTs, sleep study specialists, bodywork specialists) to gather more information or provide treatment that can maximize client outcomes. 

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) focuses on the muscles of the face and mouth. The goal of OMT is to create proper oral rest posture that impacts speech and feeding. Everyone should be using proper oral rest posture at all times unless eating, drinking, or talking. Proper oral rest posture is:

  1. The tongue is resting on the roof of the mouth 

  2. The teeth slightly open 

  3. Lips sealed while breathing through the nose.  

Our approach to therapy is always individualized to target each client's underlying issues. In the area of orofacial myology, we have completed over 45 hours of continuing education in the areas of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs), Tethered Oral Tissue (TOTs), Airway/Breathing related disorders that negatively impact mouth/jaw development, and speech and language development. 

The ProAACtive SLP highly prioritizes collaboration amongst team members which may include ENTs, pediatric dentists, orthodontists to ensure oral development, and school and community team members. Please ask about training for these team members!

Signs/Symptoms of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
  • Teeth clenching

  • Snoring

  • TMJ pain or jaw locking/popping

  • Feeding difficulties

  • Mouth breathing

  • Chapped lips

  • Poor sleep

  • Headaches

  • Thumb sucking

  • Pacifier usage

  • Unclear speech

  • Drooling

  • Crooked teeth

  • Recessed chin

  • Enlarged tonsils

  • Teeth grinding

  • Frequent ear infections

  • Daytime drowsiness

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Long face shape 

  • Heart-shaped tongue

  • Difficulty nasal breathing

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Bedwetting  

  • Digestive issues

  • Reoccuring orthodontic relapse

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Accepting New Referrals

We offer evaluation and therapy services in-person and online in the East Bay area, and online for clients located anywhere in the State of California. Reach out to us today to discuss your concerns, have your questions answered, and receive recommendations on the next steps.