A little boy holds in his breath. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

OMD or orofacial myofunctional disorders are categorized by abnormal movement patterns of a person’s mouth and face. Abnormal oral and facial movements interfere with the proper orofacial formation and growth. According to research, orofacial myofunctional disorders are prevalent in 81% of children with speech or articulation issues and 38% of the general population.

Signs and Symptoms

Mouth breathing, perhaps, is the leading factor in developing or having an orofacial myofunctional disorder. In contrast to breathing through nasal passages, by breathing through your mouth, you cannot filter air impurities and transfer those impurities to the lungs. Additionally, the posture of the jaw, width of the palate, and jaw and facial feature growth are altered through sustained mouth breathing. All of which are instrumental orofacial myofunctional disorders.

In addition to mouth breathing, individuals with OMD exhibit a multitude of signs or symptoms. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Drooling
  • Messy eater
  • Difficulties eating
  • Dental problems like an overbite or underbite
  • Inability or difficulty shutting lips when swallowing
  • Distortion of speech
  • Tongue thrusting

Causes of OMD

Allergies, thumbsucking, and blocked nasal passages (which can lead to mouth breathing) can contribute to orofacial myofunctional disorders. Mouth breathing, perhaps, is the leading factor in developing or having an orofacial myofunctional disorder. In contrast to breathing through nasal passages, a person who breathes through their mouth cannot filter air impurities and then transfer those impurities to their lungs. Additionally, the structural posture of the jaw, the width of the palate, and the natural position of the jaw and facial feature growth are altered through sustained mouth breathing. All of which are instrumental for orofacial myofunctional disorders.

Along with mouth breathing, cheek or nail-biting, and clenching or grinding one’s teeth all attribute to causing orofacial myofunctional disorders. Even long-term pacifier or bottle use can cause OMD. Orofacial myofunctional disorders can be seen alongside other disorders like malocclusion (improper teeth alignment), periodontal disorders, and orthodontic relapse. Due to the expansive effects of OMD, it is imperative to receive an assessment from an expert.

Contact Us

OMD can affect a person’s life, comfort level, and long-term health, but you don’t have to suffer anymore. Dr. Konig and the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry staff in Houston, Texas, have extensive experience helping patients with OMD find relief. Call (713) 668-2289 to schedule an appointment.

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