Mother and Daughter

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)


Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth.

What are some of the causes of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder in most cases can be result of a combination of factors; therefore it is often difficult to isolate a particular source as the sole cause of OMDs.

Many experts suggest that OMDs may develop because of the following:

·         A restricted nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, and/or allergies.

·         Improper oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, cheek/nail/cuticle biting, teeth clenching/grinding, and tongue, lip, or cheek sucking

·         Extended use of a pacifier and/or long-term use of sippy cups

·         Structural or physiological abnormalities which may include a short lingual frenum (tongue-tie)

·         Neurological deficits and developmental delays

·         Hereditary predisposition


Do you have?

·         Incorrect placement of the tongue while resting (pushing tongue against or between the teeth or resting down on the floor of the mouth) causing teeth malocclusions such as crowding and spacing of the teeth, narrow face, droopy eyes, smaller jaw and narrow palate?

·         Tongue tie or lip tie

·         Breathing through the mouth and open mouth rest posture (lips apart at rest)?

·         Difficulty keeping mouth closed when chewing, messy or noisy eating and trouble with swallowing food?

·         Chronic headaches, teeth grinding or clenching and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

·         Speech problems and orthodontic relapse?

·         Harmful oral habits like thumb sucking, nail or lip biting?

If so, then you may have an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD)

Why be concerned about OMDs?


Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders interrupt normal patterns for the muscle movements. Failure to address an OMD can result in:


·         Long term mouth-breathing patterns may impact overall healthy breathing

·         Formation of harmful oral habits that inhibit further growth and development

·         Formation of unusual patterns that impact chewing and swallowing

·         Inadequate development/alignment of the teeth

·         Inefficient development of jaw growth and facial structure

·         Slowing the process of orthodontic treatment

·         Malocclusion relapse due to diminishing the long-term stability of orthodontic treatment

·         temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)

·         Speech sound alterations

·         Noisy chewing and swallowing patterns due to open mouth postures, negatively affecting social relationships

A range of peripheral pain concerns such as chronic facial, neck and back pain; headaches; tooth grinding and clenching; as well as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD or TMD) have also been associated with OMD’s, as have episodes of tinnitus and vertigo.

Improper tongue position has also been associated with some sleep disordered breathing.

Picky eating patterns often appear as a result of the lack of oral coordination needed in the first three years of life. Since OMD’s are typically associated with tongue, jaw and lip movement, speech patterns can also be impacted.


OMT is being done to re-establish the oral and facial muscles through series of progressive exercises to treat OMDs.




•     Proper breathing through your nose at all time (awake and asleep)

•     Correct position of the tongue while resting

•     Correct chewing and swallowing pattern

•     proper lip seal when resting (mouth closed)

•     Strengthening of oral and facial muscles

•     Good head and neck posture

•     Eliminating bad habits such as and mouth breathing thumb sucking


When oral and facial muscles function and rest in the proper way; healthy breathing, swallowing, speech, and relief of other symptoms can happen.