Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (Omds): Symptoms And Treatment

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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (Omds): Symptoms And Treatment

Jul 01, 2021

Have you ever met someone who has difficulties with talking and eating? Such persons may be suffering from a group of disorders known as Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs). The good news is, OMDs can be corrected. You’ll find more information about OMDs, the symptoms, and treatment in this article.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are abnormalities of the muscles and the functions of the face and the mouth. This occurs when the position of the jaw, abnormal lip, or tongue interferes with your looks or facial structure, growth, and functions.

OMDs can negatively affect the way a person talks, chewing, swallowing, facial looks, facial skeletal growth and functions and even breastfeeding in babies. Popular causes of OMDs are:

  • Obstruction of the upper airway: when a person has expanded tonsils, a deviated septum, or allergies, they can suffer from problems with the free flow of air through the nasal airway. This can cause the jaw to change to an improper position cause the person will adapt to mouth-breathing when the nasal airway is obstructed.
  • Habitual thumb-sucking or prolonged bottle use: Habitual sucking can cause problems for the teeth by making them misaligned thereby causing malocclusion. The tongue can also lose its appropriate position and the way it swallows food or other substances.
  • Delayed neuromotor improvement: Abnormalities in the orofacial muscles and structural differences can be a problem. It can cause slow growth of the cheekbones and jaw. This can cause OMDs and would require myofunctional therapy. You can get your myofunctional therapy in Rocklin.

OMDs can start early in life. Most times, it’s often detected in babies. The baby might show some inability to swallow or breastfeed. This can cause problems as the child grows. Parents might fail to see the signs of the inability to swallow and think that the child is a picky eater. If the child is taken to a pediatric dentist, future problems can be prevented. However, if it is not early detected until the child becomes an adult, the abnormalities can be corrected through Myofunctional Therapy.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myo means “muscle”, this indicates that the term myofunctional refers to functions of the muscles. This time the muscles are those of the oral structures. Myofunctional therapy helps the bad muscles to function properly and corrects them. It comprises physical rehabilitation to enhance breathing, talking, facial structures, biting or chewing, and of people that are affected by OMDs. The exercise is aimed at treating the face, neck, and mouth’s soft tissues to help put the tongue in a better position. Myofuctional therapy is specifically conducted based on age and symptoms. This treatment targets the cause rather than managing the symptoms.

Myofunctional therapy also aims at restoring nasal breathing, correcting tongue arrangement at rest, and correcting the inability to swallow properly.

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Before a disorder is diagnosed, there would be signs that can be monitored or looked out for. Your dentist should be able to observe the popular signs of OMDs. These signs include:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): this is a medical condition in which a person grinds or gnashes their teeth. People with bruxism often clench their teeth unconsciously whenever they are asleep and sometimes unknowingly when they are awake.
  • Misaligned teeth: malocclusion of the teeth (misaligned teeth) occurs when the teeth do not fit easily inside the mouth thereby causing crowding or no space for new teeth to erupt.
  • Sleep apnea: this is a sleep disorder that causes a person to suffer from breathing problems while they are asleep.
  • Facial discomfort: due to problems in the jaw and muscular dysfunctions, a person can begin to experience facial pains and headaches.
  • Speech problems: this is the inability to speak freely or pronounce words correctly.
  • Mouth-breathing: this occurs when a person suffers from obstructed nasal airway thereby causing them to breathe from the mouth.
  • Tongue thrusting: this is a habitual thrusting of the tongue forward between the upper and lower teeth while swallowing or talking. This is improper because the tip of the tongue is supposed to push against the gum above the back of the upper front teeth.

Some of the symptoms can be noticed and help with early detection. However, visiting a dentist for proper examination is the right thing to do. You can consult a dentist at 95765.


The best treatment for OMDs is myofunctional therapy. This treatment relieves the symptoms and targets the underlying causes. After you’ve paid a visit to the dentist to look into some of the symptoms you are experiencing. A dentist in Rocklin can examine you and confirm if you’re suffering from OMDs. If you are diagnosed with OMDs, you would be referred to a myofunctional therapist who will treat and correct the OMDs.

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