Signs of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

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Orofacial myofunctional disorders refer to movements in the face, mouth, and other facial regions that are not normal. Specifically, the lips, jaw, or tongue may rest in an abnormal fashion when speaking, eating, or even in a resting position. This disorder is one that can thankfully be treated by a speech pathologist. However, in order for treatment to begin, it is necessary to be able to detect the disorder. There are a lot of signs and symptoms that point to an orofacial myofcuntional disorder. Continue reading to find out more.

How to detect orofacial myofunctional disorder

Outlined below are some of the signs that indicate that an orofacial myofunctional disorder might be present. This information may be helpful to individuals who fear that they or someone they know may be suffering.

The signs and symptoms

Outlined below are the most common warning signs that might indicate an orofacial myofunctional disorder is present. 

  • Drooling
  • Limited or dysfunctional lip movement
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Constant mouth breathing
  • Trouble pronouncing and enunciating 
  • Over, under, or crossbite
  • Messy eating 
  • Difficulty chewing properly when eating
  • The tongue pushes past the teeth when resting

Of course, these warning signs and symptoms may vary in each individual, but those that are listed above are typically the most common. 

The role of a speech pathologist

Most often, orofacial myofunctional disorders are detected at a young age in children by their primary dentists. From there, the dentist will likely bring in a speech pathologist to help manage the disorder and appropriately treat it. Because the disorder is quite common in children, it is crucial that a speech pathologist comes in so that the child's pronunciation and enunciation are not negatively impacted later on down the line.  

A speech pathologist's role is to help children or anyone suffering from a disorder to improve the way that they hold their mouths and lips so that words, letters, and phrases are spoken properly. There may be a number of different exercises that are done in order to treat orofacial myofunctional disorders. 

Therapy

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is conducted in various ways, depending on the severity of the disorder, the speech pathologist's recommendation, and the age of the patient. Therapy is done to help restore nasal breathing, improve swallowing patterns, and correct any tongue positions. Outlined below are some examples of what therapy may be like. 

  • Oral muscle exercises
  • Pursing the lips together to improve mouth position
  • Speech exercises
  • Eliminating thumb sucking and pacifier usage 

Find out more from a speech pathologist today

Working with a speech pathologist when suffering from any of the signs and symptoms that are listed above is the best place to start. A consultation can be done, which will allow for an evaluation of the warning signs. From there, any questions or concerns can be addressed by the speech pathologist. Then, a treatment plan can be put into place. To learn more about this disorder and how it may be treated, reach out today. 

Request an appointment here: https://smalltalktherapyservices.com or call Small Talk Therapy Services at (832) 900-1198 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder in Richmond, TX.

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