Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

omdRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Do you have an orofacial myofunctional disorder?

This term applies to any issue stemming from a dysfunction in the muscles of your face or mouth, or the movement of your tongue.

An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) can hinder your ability to eat, swallow, and speak correctly. It can affect your breathing or the way you sleep. It even can alter facial development.

What causes an OMD?

Any of the following conditions can lead to the development of an OMD:

  • Poor breathing habits—either from inefficient nasal breathing or regularly breathing through the mouth
  • Extended use of a pacifier and/or sippy cup
  • Thumb sucking
  • Restriction of the nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a deviated septum, or allergy
  • Tethered oral tissue such as a tongue tie or lip tie

Patients with an OMD see their orofacial functions and muscles adapt to compensate for this disorder.

If an OMD is not properly treated, it can cause other, more serious problems including malocclusion (bad bite), gum disease, sleep apnea, orthodontic relapse, and abnormal growth of the jaw.

Common symptoms of an OMD include the following:

  • A speech impediment or delayed development of speech
  • In infants, issues breastfeeding
  • Tongue thrust
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing frequently through the mouth or having an open mouth continuously when at rest (poor oral posture)

The sooner an OMD is diagnosed and treated, the less likely it will have a prolonged effect on the way you eat, swallow, and speak. The International Association of Orofacial Myology recommends that children be evaluated for the potential causes of an OMD, such as an airway restriction, as young as the age of 4 years old.

Hartrick Dentistry has the special training and experience to diagnose and treat an OMD in a patient at any age. Call  (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

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Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
32609 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Call: 248-549-0950
Fax: 248-549-1180