Myo / Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)

Orthodontists have documented their concerns about OMD’s since the early 1900’s. Failure to address an OMD can result in:

  • Long term mouth-breathing patterns that compromise learning, dental health, sleep, and overall health
  • Sleep disordered breathing such as snoring, struggling to breathe, restless sleep, bedwetting, screaming, excessive sleepiness, teeth grinding
  • Poor oral habits that impede further growth and development
  • Poor attention or organization
  • Need to fidget or move
  • Frequent illness and/or nasal congestion
  • Atypical chewing and swallowing (noisy or messy eating, tongue thrust pattern)
  • Poor alignment of the teeth
  • Poor jaw growth and facial structure development
  • Slowing or relapsing of orthodontic treatment
  • Poor stability and function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Articulation distortions and/or delayed language
  • Picky eating patterns due to poor oral coordination early in life
  • Negative affects on social relationships due to open mouth postures while eating

As patients age, a variety of body pain issues arise due to muscle compensations, such as chronic facial, neck and back pain; headaches; tooth grinding and clenching; as well as temperomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD or TMD).

What should you expect at your evaluation?

That’s something we often laugh about! It’s very different from traditional speech therapy; it’s a little dental and a little medical. It’s unlike any other appointment you’ve had -but patients frequently state they had a lot of fun! There tend to be a lot of “ah-ha” moments as the patients (or parents) make connections to “quirks,” health issues, and life adventures. Many feel validation for their journey, and get some peace as they get the long-awaited help they need. The evaluation is completed at a pace the patient is comfortable with. Like any other medical appointment, it starts with reviewing your paperwork, then the examination of posture, dentition, jaws, lips, airway, tongue, and eating/swallowing. Michelle will talk you through and share all findings of the evaluation -along with many, many smiles. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything the day of the evaluation; Michelle will review it all with you a few days later.

Do you want to know more about OMDs? We love to get nerdy!