What is Myofunctional Therapy Defined?
Myofunctional therapy, also known as, orofacial myology is the neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles and development of craniofacial structures and function. It is related to the study, research, prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of functional and structural alterations in the region of the mouth (oro), face (facial) and regions of the neck (oropharyngeal area). Normal muscle function and resting postures are essential for proper growth and facial and dental development, speech development, and breathing.
Are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD) common?
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge in the absence of normalized patterns within the orofacial complex. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can often result in a variety of disturbances. Examples of orofacial myofunctional disorders include one or a combination of the following:
Thumb and finger sucking habits
A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
A forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
Other harmful oral habits
Orofacial myofunctional disorders are often related to, or can contribute to a variety of medical and dental disorders which can include:
Malocclusion meaning the improper alignment of the teeth
Changes associated with abnormal jaw growth and position
Research indicates in various populations, a prevalence of 38% in the general population to 81% in children exhibiting speech/articulation problems. It’s important to understand the cause of the speech issues so that proper treatment can be provided.
What does therapy consist of?
Therapy is individualized according to the evaluation results. Certified Orofacial Myologists® and trained speech-language pathologists work with a collaborative team on the following goals to meet individual needs.
Encourage nasal breathing
Correct resting posture for the tongue, lips, and jaw
Eliminating adverse oral habits (clenching) that affect muscle tone, cranio and dental growing patterns.
Correcting abnormal chewing and swallowing patterns.
Correcting speech movements and patterns of tongue, lips, and jaw during speech
How long will I be in therapy?
Treatment is individualized. However, if OMD goals are completed, speech tends to be easily corrected with the trained speech-language pathologist.
What should I look for in a provider?
Speech pathology is a broad field. Look for a provider who has specialized training and is accredited through The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). If speech is your concern, look for a speech-language pathologist who is also an Orofacial Myologist or Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist with clinical background and who has completed the introductory coursework in the etiology and treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Speech-language pathologists who are also Certified Orofacial Myologists® are accredited through the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) and participate in recurrent continuing education courses to access the most current science and treatment methodologies available.
All of the speech language pathologists who are housed at Floss Family Dental have taken the 28-hour accredited myofunctional course and are trained to identify and treat OMD (Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders). For more information, click the link or call to schedule today.
DID YOU KNOW?
Research indicates 38% of the general population and 81% in children exhibit speech and/or articulation problems.