An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) is classified as a condition resulting from an abnormal lip, jaw, or tongue positioning while resting, swallowing, or speaking. When left untreated, it can hinder the proper growth and development of the oral muscles and bones. This can lead to an array of complications, such as difficulty swallowing, speaking, or closing the mouth correctly. In some cases, breathing problems can also occur. To resolve the issues, your dentist provides orofacial myology therapy in Franklin.
What Causes Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?
There is no single cause for orofacial myofunctional disorders; however, there are several factors that can influence its development, such as:
- Tongue Thrusting: School-aged children who have a habit of pushing their tongue to the roof of their mouth when swallowing can develop it if it is not corrected early. With roughly 33% to 50% of children having this habit, your dentist can provide early intervention using an orthodontic appliance.
- Mouth Breathing: Blocked nasal passages due to allergies or large tonsils can lead to mouth breathing. This can cause the tongue to become misplaced when resting. It is estimated 31% of children with chronic mouth breathing also suffer from an orofacial myofunctional disorder.
- Temporomandibular Disorders: Disorders of the temporomandibular joint and OMD often go together. In fact, over 97% of those with TMJ also have OMD
- Poor Oral Habits: Thumb and finger sucking, excessive pacifier use, nail biting, or prolonged drinking from a bottle can lead to the disorder. The teeth can be pushed out of alignment, leading to bite issues.
- Genetics: Some people are predisposed to develop OMD if there is a family history of other contributing factors, like TMJ disorders or blocked nasal passages.
- Structural Abnormalities: Short lingual frenum, also known as tongue-tie, can cause swallowing and speaking difficulties.
Symptoms of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
The symptoms of the disorder can be quite diverse, such as:
- Speech distortion, like a lisp.
- Chronic open mouth positioning.
- Dental abnormalities, like an open bite.
- Tongue thrust.
- Difficulty swallowing.
Treating Orofacial Myofunction Disorders
To treat the condition, it involves a combination of therapies and solutions that cater to your individual needs, such as speech therapy. In addition, your dentist in Franklin will work to retrain the tongue to rest in a more natural position. If dental complications have developed, like an open bite, orthodontics may also be needed.
Improve Your Quality of Life Today!
You do not need to live with the complications of orofacial myofunctional disorders. You can improve your health and your quality of life with a customized treatment plan from your dentist.
About Dr. Paige Prather
Dr. Paige Prather earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. She has made it her mission to help her patients achieve healthy, functional smiles. In addition to general dentistry, she offers many areas of specialty, including orofacial myology therapy. Dr. Prather will improve your general well-being while building a confident, functional smile. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.