Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and their functions that innervate the face and mouth. OMDs may affect facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, TMJ movement, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial aesthetics, and more.

They may start with insufficient nasal breathing or with oral breathing. The adaptation of the muscles and the orofacial functions to a disordered breathing pattern creates many OMDs. They may impact treatment by orthodontists, dentists, dental hygienists, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals working in the orofacial area.

To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together. When a person swallows normally, the tip of the tongue presses firmly against the roof of the mouth, slightly behind the front teeth. The tongue works with all the other muscles involved in swallowing. The hard palate, meanwhile absorbs the force created by the tongue. Research has shown when the tongue rests up, the pressure on the palate releases happy chemicals...endorphins called serotonin and dopamine.

A person swallows 500-1000 times a day. Improper swallowing can cause a variety of problems, but it is actually the resting position of the tongue that does the most damage because it is more constant.

A trained OMT is one member of the team that can treat an OMD. They may work with other professionals such as dentists, orthodontists, and osteopaths to ensure the patient’s needs are addressed.

Myofunctional Therapy is a holistic, non-invasive approach to treating OMDS. The program is fun and progressive for each individual.

Recent research has shown that Myofunctional Therapy may reduce the symptoms...

Concurrent Disorders

OMD Treatment

Tongue thrust is the most common cause of OMDs...

The most obvious symptom of incorrect oral patterns involve the muscles of the face...

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Cosmetic Problems related to an OMD


Practice Makes Permanent.

Jennifer Block, RDH
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Buteyko Breathing Educator