What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) are atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge within the orofacial structure (IAOM, n.d.). OMDs can be found in children, adolescents, and adults. OMDs can co-occur with a variety of speech and swallowing disorders (ASHA, n.d.)

What are some of the causes of OMD?

OMD may develop as a result of the following:

  1. Restricted nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, and/or allergies
  2. Extended thumb or finger sucking
  3. Extended use of a pacifier and/or long-term use of sippy cups
  4. Structural or physiological abnormalities which may include a short lingual frenum (tongue-tie)
  5. Neurological deficits and developmental delays
  6. Hereditary predisposition
  7. Oral resting postures such as mouth breathing

Prevalence of OMDs

  1. 38% of people in the general public will experience OMD
  2. 81% of children exhibiting speech/articulation problems experience OMD

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms may vary depending on age. Below is a list of general signs and symptoms

  1. Speech sound errors: difficulty saying sounds like “s” in “sad”, “sh” in “show”, and/or “j” in “jam”
  2. Chronic open mouth positioning
  3. Dental abnormalities
  4. Tongue thrust
  5. Nonnutritive sucking habits

Who to seek advice from when OMD is suspected?

  1. A dentist
  2. An orthodontist
  3. A doctor
  4. A speech-language pathologist

Appropriate treatment will…

  1. Eliminate improper chewing and swallowing patters
  2. Create an appropriate tongue and lip resting posture
  3. Produce speech sounds more clearly
  4. Address different breathing patterns
  5. Create stable dentition

-Samantha Graffius, M.S. CCC-SLP

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/orofacial-myofunctional-disorders/#professional
Cincinnati Children’s (2020). Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/o/orofacial-disorders
International Association of Orofacial Myology. (n.d.). Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from https://www.iaom.com/faq/