What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders ?
The practice of orofacial myology includes the evaluation and treatment of the following:
1. Abnormal non-nutritive sucking habits (thumb, finger, pacifier etc)
2. Other detrimental orofacial habits
3. Abnormal orofacial rest posture problems
4. Abnormal neuromuscular muscle patterns associated with inappropriate mastication, bolus formation, and deglutition
5. Abnormal functional breathing patterns
6. Abnormal swallowing patterns
7. Abnormal speech patterns (only if the COM has the speech-language pathology credentials required by his/her State, Province or Country
The overall goals of orofacial myofunctional therapy are to assist in the creation, the restoration, and the maintenance of a normal and harmonious muscle.
Why Be Concerned?
Orthodontists have been concerned about OMD since the early 1900's because the abnormal functions and postures of OMD can: negatively influence dental growth, slow orthodontic treatment and it may undermine the stability of an orthodontic correction, resulting in a relapse.
Habitual open-lip resting posture (lip incompetence), commonly found among individuals with OMD, eliminates the beneficial influence that closed lips have on the development and maintenance of good dental arch form.
The presence of OMD may have a negative effect on the development of the dentition, particularly the eruption patterns and/or alignment of the teeth and jaws.
The photo below shows an incorrect tongue resting posture Research has revealed that of those individuals who exhibit OMD 81% have speech problems. The /s/ sound is the most noticed speech error; others are /z/, /sh/, /ch/, /j/, /d/, /t/, /n/, /l/ and /r/. When there is a combination of OMD and related speech errors, it is often difficult to correct the speech problems through traditional speech therapy. Children or even adults with incorrect chewing and swallowing patterns frequently chew their food with their lips open, usually taking large bites and swallowing without completely chewing the food. This behavior often leads to food particles around the mouth, noisy chewing and swallowing (smacking and gulping) and a messy eating area. It can also cause an upset stomach from swallowing too much air. Here at SVS we are trained to treat the OMD. After a comprehensive case history a proper assessment will be conducted . The treatment plan is always discussed with the patients and families. Patient will be provided with our clinical prognosis and discuss in details the positive and negative indicators.
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