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Orofacial Myology

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy involves an interdisciplinary approach focused on the muscles of the lips, tongue, cheeks, and face, as well as their associated functions such as breathing, sucking, chewing, swallowing, and aspects of speech development.

The primary goal of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is to address disorders affecting the muscles and functions of the face, mouth, lips, or jaw, collectively known as orofacial myofunctional disorders. These disorders are prevalent in childhood, and often overlap in children experiencing speech or articulation difficulties. Orofacial Myology seeks to rectify these issues by re-educating and re-patterning oral and facial muscles.

The most common body functions that impact mouth and facial development are:

  • Mouth breathing

  • Breastfeeding

  • Muscle tone

  • Body posture

  • Oral rest position

  • Atypical swallowing

  • Limited or incorrect chewing

  • Oral habits (e.g., thumb and dummy sucking)

  • Soft tissue restrictions (e.g., tongue and lip ties)

  • Airway obstructions (e.g., enlarged tonsils and adenoids)

Some of the main indicators of orofacial myofunctional disorders include:

  • Slow progress in speech therapy

  • Mouth breathing

  • Tongue tie

  • Thumb or dummy sucking

  • Drooling

  • Poor sleep patterns

  • Behavioral issues

  • Messy or selective eating habits

  • Dentition and palate growth concerns

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