Orofacial myofunctional disorders involve patterns and behaviors created by inappropriate muscle function involving the tongue, lips, jaw, and face. This also includes noxious oral habits like thumb sucking. Abnormal swallow patterns are the most common orofacial myofunctional variation. Incorrect positioning of the tongue during swallowing, chewing, and at rest may contribute to improper orofacial development. It can also maintain the misalignment of the teeth.
A speech pathologist with a certification from the International Association of Orofacial Myology is best suited to treat these disorders. A COM® (Certified Orofacial Myologist) will work as part of a team with pediatricians, dentists, ENTs, orthodontists, ostepaths, and oral surgeons. If a child exhibits a combination of myofunctional disorders as well as speech disorders, traditional speech therapy often fails to remedy the speech problem. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of myofunctional therapy.
Certified Orofacial Myologists specialize in the following:
Tongue tie can affect chewing, swallowing, articulation, and even facial growth.
A low and forward tongue position is never normal. A COM® can determine the reason for this habit and help to resolve it.
Myofunctional disorders can affect how we chew and swallow and lead to detrimental health effects.
The healthiest people breath through their noses. Children should not sit with their lips open.
Oral habits can include nail biting, thumb sucking, finger sucking, or tongue sucking.
A COM® is trained to identify when to refer to an airway specialist (an ENT). A patent airway is the key to better health.