Friday, March 1, 2019

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)?

OMDs are adaptive patterns that develop in the absence of normalized patterns. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can result in a variety of disturbances such as:
  • Thumb and finger sucking habits
  • A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
  • Forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
  • Other harmful oral habits

The presence of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are often related or can contribute to a variety of disorders, including:
  • Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
  • Periodontal disorders
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Changes associated with abnormal jaw growth and position

What age should a child be evaluated for OMDs?

It is a good time to evaluate children for OMDs when they are 4 years old. At this time, the therapist can address barriers such as airway restrictions and tongue-tie or oral tissue restrictions that can be addressed prior to therapy. Typically a 5-year-old would be ready to begin therapy with an Orofacial Myologist. In some cases, it would benefit the child and family to allow more time for mental development before beginning therapy.

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