Orofacial myology is the study of the muscles of the mouth and face that affect speech, swallowing, and/or chewing. An Oral Myofunctional Therapist can assess and treat disorders of orofacial myology. Phyllis is the only therapist certified in orofacial myology in North Dakota and Western Minnesota. She is trained to assess and treat these disorders.
Who benefits from Oral Myofunctional treatment?
Children from 4 years and older will benefit. In particular, children and teenagers who may need some form of orthodontia would benefit from treatment prior to beginning orthodontics. Children who have been in speech therapy for a number of years, however, continue to have persistent speech errors during conversational speech.
What causes Oral Myofunctional Disorders?
There is no single known cause of an Oral Myofunctional Disorder. However, the international association of orofacial myology (IAOM) indicates specific conditions may result in orofacial myology disorders:
- restricted nasal airway
- oral habits (thumb/finger sucking)
- cheek/nail biting
- teeth clenching/grinding
- tongue tie
- cleft palate
- hereditary predisposition to any of the above factors
What are the characteristics of an Oral Myofunctional Disorder?
- Placing the tongue on or between teeth when swallowing (tongue thrust)
- Placing the tongue on or between teeth when rapidly repeating syllables such as la, ta, da, or na (ex: nananana)
- Resting the tongue on the lower lip and teeth or behind the bottom teeth while keeping the mouth open which is known as an open mouth rest posture.
- Thumb and finger sucking
- An open bite
- Overbite (overjet)
- Mouth open all the time
- Speech sound errors
- Some people who suffer from TMD (Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction) also have oral myofunctional disorders and benefit from a team approach to treatment that includes an oral myofunctional therapist.
Who do I contact to seek help for Oral Myofunctional Disorders?
Contact Dakota Orofacial Myology at 701-364-9070. A free consult is available for anyone who wants more information regarding this service. You can call us anytime with questions or to schedule a free consult to determine if this program is right for you or your child.
The program requires the following:
- Weekly therapy with an oral facial myologist.
- A home program; 5-10 minutes daily of consisting of exercises for the tongue and lips