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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

Orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) involves the function and movement of oral and facial muscles involving the lips, tongue, jaw and face. If untreated, OMD can impede the development of teeth and jaws, speech patterns and swallowing function

According to the International Association of Orofacial Myology, anywhere from 38 percent of the general population to 81 percent of children exhibit speech problems. Some can be treated with regular speech therapy. Those with OMD require professional, specialized therapy, which is available through Saint John's Speech-Language Pathology Department located in Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

How We Can Help

Many recent scientific studies show that treatment for OMD can be up to 90 percent effective and that people retain corrections years after completing therapy.

If you suspect OMD in a family member, evaluation is the first step. Our trained therapists will evaluate lip, palate, tongue and facial movements at rest as well as during the complex movements of speech and swallowing. We analyze patterns and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address habits, oral postures, articulation and/or swallowing when appropriate.

Children as young as four years old can be evaluated; most therapy begins when children are mature enough to receive complete training, usually around seven or eight years of age. Adults of all ages can see improvement with treatment.

Common Factors That May Contribute to OMD

  • Oral habits of finger /thumb sucking, nail biting, and tooth grinding
  • Mouth breathing related to allergies and/or large tonsils or adenoids
  • Short lingual frenum (tongue tie)
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Hereditary factors

For more information, call 913-596-4750.