Practice Makes Permanent.

Jennifer Block, RDH
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Buteyko Breathing Educator


Checklist for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

1. Do you have an open mouth at rest posture or mouth breath?
2. Does your tongue rest against your teeth?
3. Have your teeth moved after orthodontia?
4. Do you experience frequent headaches?
5. Does your jaw and neck hurt often?
6. Do you chew food with your mouth open?
7. Do you sleep on your stomach or side?
8. Do you have habits like nail biting, pen chewing, frequent lip licking or chewing, thumb-sucking?
9. Do have a forward head position?
10. Do you lisp at times when pronouncing the “s” sound?
11. Does it seem your tongue comes forward when you swallow?
12. Do you drool or have bloating or stomach distress after eating?

The third common cause of an OMD is non–nutritive sucking habits, like fingers, thumbs, pacifiers, blankets and clothes. The constant sucking positions the tongue low and forward in the bottom of the mouth. Over time, this may cause a tongue thrust habit. It changes the shape of the upper arch, making it narrow. This can lead to crowding of the teeth.

Tongue-tie is when the tongue is restricted by the small cord under the tongue, It forces the tongue into low resting position. It isn’t resting against the palate to aid in nasal breathing , swallowing and maintain the arches as it should.

Tongue thrust is the most common cause of OMDs. In adolescence and adulthood, it can be seen in 30-40% of the population. It occurs when the tongue moves forward and against the teeth instead of against the palate.

A low tongue resting position is another cause of OMD. It is seen when the tongue rests against the front, sides or between the teeth. The low constant pressure will cause teeth to move and open up the front teeth. When it happens after the braces are removed, it is called ortho relapse.

Infected or large tonsils and adenoid fight for space in the back of the mouth and force the tongue forward. Consequently, the tongue is forced forward and forces the lips and mouth open. With a restricted airway, nasal breathing is limited and mouth breathing takes over.