What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
According to the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM),
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is the treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD).
The prefix "myo" means muscle. Orofacial myofunctional disorders involve a variety of postural and functional disorders including sucking habits and inappropriate oral postures or functions of the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face. A common disorder familiar to the public is “tongue thrust", where the tongue rests against or between the front or side teeth during swallowing rather than lifting up into the palate (roof of the mouth). Tongue thrusting frequently occurs with a low, forward resting posture of the tongue, with a lips apart posture. Just as the controlled continuous forces of orthodontic appliances (braces) can move teeth, abnormal postures and functions in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of dental malocclusions such as incorrectly positioned teeth, an improper bite relationship or other problems related to oral or facial muscle dysfunction or a malformation of the bones of the dental arches.
Research has shown that as many as 81% of people who exhibit
orofacial myofunctional disorders have speech problems.