Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

At Clearview Speech & Language, we are trained and experienced in providing orofacial myofunctional therapy services to address the following challenges:

  • Open-bite or front teeth that stick out

  • Speech distortions, especially lisps

  • Chewing with lips open

  • Tongue thrusting

  • Thumb sucking and other negative oral habits

  • Orthodontic relapse

  • Tongue- and lip-ties

  • Open-mouth breathing

  • Teeth grinding and jaw tension

  • TMJ disorder headaches and jaw pain

About Orofacial Myology

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are characterized by abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth. Children, teenagers, and adults may suffer from OMDs, and people of all ages benefit from therapy. OMDs may interfere with normal growth and development of the muscles and bones of the face and mouth, leading to problems with eating, swallowing, proper tongue positioning at rest, breathing through the nose, and speech development.

 

Some of the most common OMDs we treat are related to tongue-ties, open-mouth breathing, teeth grinding, and tongue thrusting. Tongue thrusting is characterized by pushing out the tongue when talking, drinking, or eating. This common OMD can result in distorted speech (lisp), an open bite, and residual orthodontic relapse and is best treated by a trained orofacial myologist.

 a woman has toothaches

Symptoms of an

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

  • Persistent breathing through the mouth or difficulty breathing through the nose

  • Tongue-tie and/or limited tongue movement 

  • Chewing with the lips/mouth open and/or difficulty closing the lips to swallow

  • An overbite, underbite, and/or other dental problems

  • The tongue pushing past the teeth, even when a person is not talking or using the tongue

  • Difficulty saying some sounds, like "s" in "sun," "sh" in "ship," or "j" in "jump"

  • Drooling, primarily beyond age 2

  • Teeth grinding, jaw tension, headaches

Orofacial Myofunctional Evaluation

Orofacial myofunctional therapy begins with an evaluation that allows us to determine the underlying cause of the client's presenting problems. During the evaluation, we will take pictures to document postural and structural aspects of the mouth and jaw, assess speech and swallowing, and take oral measurements. We will also perform an assessment of the client's breathing, and examine the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw posture. Following the evaluation, if therapy is recommended, we will develop an individual therapy plan and goals. Sometimes we may recommend that you or your child consult with other professionals (ENT, dentist, orthodontist, sleep specialist, TMJ specialist, allergist, etc.).  OMD therapy is always a team approach!  

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial myofunctional therapy focuses on lingual (tongue), jaw, and lips training/exercises followed by chewing and swallowing mechanics to:

  • Remediate stubborn articulation disorders

  • Improve mouth breathing habits

  • Treat the symptoms contributing to TMJ disorder when it is a muscle or habit related issue

  • Improve digestive disorders resulting from not chewing properly or swallowing air

  • Reduce the risk of re-attachment of the tongue or lip after a frenectomy

  • Improve forward head postural problems relating to atypical tongue and mouth postures

  • Reduce jaw and face tension, headaches, and teeth grinding

Through retraining the muscle movements of the mouth and face, eliminating abnormal muscular pressure on the jaws and teeth, stabilizing the muscles of the mouth and face, and increasing awareness of the tongue and mouth muscles and positioning, a client will experience lasting success. 

Children as young as 4 years old, teens, and adults of all ages can benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy programs.

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Schedule a free consultation today.

You will speak directly with Danielle Melanephy to discuss your concerns and have your questions answered.