You wake up one morning with a sore throat, but as the day goes on, you realize that something more may be going on. You have trouble swallowing, and it feels like your tongue is pushing against your teeth even when you're not talking. You may be experiencing orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs), and Speech Therapy For All can help.
What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)?
OMDs are abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth that can interfere with the normal growth and development of the muscles and bones of the face and mouth. OMDs can also affect how the muscles of the face and mouth are used for eating, talking, and breathing. Common OMDs include tongue thrusting or fronting, which is when a child pushes their tongue out when talking, drinking, or eating.
There is not a known, single cause of OMDs. OMDs may be caused by several factors:
Blocked nasal passages because of tonsil size or allergies. When the nasal passages are blocked, people may need to breathe through their mouths instead.
Anything that causes the tongue to be misplaced at rest or makes it difficult to keep the lips together at rest.
Sucking and chewing habits past the age of three years.
Who May Need Myofunctional Therapy?
Children, teenagers, and adults can all suffer from OMDs. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may benefit from myofunctional therapy:
Difficulty breathing through the nose
Limited tongue movement
Messy or difficult eating
Overbite, underbite, or other dental problems
Tongue pushing past the teeth
Difficulty saying sounds, like "s" in "sun," "sh" in "ship," or "j" in "jump."
Drooling beyond the age of two
Difficulty closing the lips to swallow
Testing for an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
At Speech Therapy For All, our team of experienced pediatric speech pathologists can evaluate your child for an OMD. This may include a comprehensive assessment of your child's dental and medical history, as well as a thorough examination of their teeth, jaw movement, allergies, tonsils, adenoids, speech, eating, and breathing habits. Our speech therapists in Riverhead and Southampton, New York, are trained to identify the signs and symptoms of OMDs and can provide a treatment plan to address the issues.
What is Myofunctional Therapy?
If your child is diagnosed with an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD), our team of pediatric speech therapists can provide a range of evidence-based treatments to help them improve their oral motor skills and achieve better speech, eating, and breathing habits. Our New York speech pathologists in Riverhead and Southampton can help your child pay closer attention to their mouth and facial movements, improve tongue and mouth muscle awareness, produce sounds more clearly, change their chewing and swallowing patterns, and practice different breathing techniques. We work closely with parents, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that your child receives the best possible care and achieves the best possible outcomes.
How Can Speech Therapy For All Help?
At Speech Therapy For All, our trained SLPs can evaluate your symptoms and create a personalized therapy plan to help you achieve optimal facial and oral muscle function. Our goal is to help you improve your ability to eat, speak, and breathe comfortably.
Q: Is myofunctional therapy painful?
No, myofunctional therapy is non-invasive and should not cause pain.
Q: How long does myofunctional therapy take?
The length of therapy varies depending on the severity of your OMDs and your individual progress. Some individuals may require therapy for several months or longer.
Q: Is myofunctional therapy covered by insurance?
Coverage for myofunctional therapy may vary depending on your insurance plan. Please contact us to discuss payment options and insurance coverage.
If you suspect that your child may have an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD), contact our pediatric speech therapists in Riverhead and Southampton today to schedule a consultation and learn how myofunctional therapy can help you achieve optimal facial and oral muscle function.