Myofunctional Therapy

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

  • Atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge in absence of normalized patterns within the orofacial complex. With these newly adaptive movements, a variety of disturbances can occur.
  • thumb sucking

Examples of adaptive behaviors:

  • Thumb and finger sucking habits
  • Resting with lips apart (mouth breathing)
  • Resting tongue being between or against teeth
  • Tongue thrust

These disorders can contribute to:

  • Malocclusion (improper alignment of teeth)
  • Periodontal disorders
  • mouth breathing
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Abnormal jaw position and growth

Potential causes:

  • Restricted airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids or allergies
  • Thumb and finger sucking habits as well as clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Long term pacifier and or sippy cup usage
  • Tongue tie
  • Neurological and developmental delays
  • Hereditary predisposition

Therapy for OMDs can begin as young as 4 to evaluate proper breathing ability or determine tongue restriction.

What is Orofacial Myofunctional therapy?

  • An individualized program to help patient retrain adaptive patterns of muscle function to create & maintain a healthy orofacial environment
Treatment goals may include the following:
  • Normalize tongue and lip resting postures
  • Establish nasal breathing patterns
  • Eliminate improper chewing and swallowing patterns
  • Stablize and dentition from extraneous orofacial muscle movement
  • Address harmful oral habits including:
    • Prolonged pacifier use
    • Thumb and/or finger sucking
    • Fingernail, cheek, or lip biting
    • Tongue sucking
    • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Benefits of Orofacial Myofuntional Therapy may include:
  • Correcting and improving tongue and lip postures which can aid in the development of normal patterns of dental eruption and alignment.
  • Assisting in the stabilization of the teeth during and/or after orthodontic treatment or jaw surgery
  • Identifying the need and referring for Speech treatment. Supporting the remediation of speech errors differently than some traditional methods (when working with a speech language pathologist trained in Orofacial Myology).

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Dr. Stephanie D. Briggs - Columbus Dentist
1120 Polaris Parkway, Ste. 130, Columbus, OH 43240 - ph. 614-436-6445

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