Alpha Dental

Common Orofacial Myology Disorders and their Treatment 

Orofacial Myology

Ever wondered how your tongue’s position can affect how you eat, talk, and even smile? It plays a big role! Luckily, there’s a field of study in dental care called Myofunctional therapy, which is a specialised approach designed to correct abnormal tongue positions and, in turn, transform your oral health. Simply put, it’s like a workout for your mouth to make things work better. So, let’s explore the orofacial myofunctional disorders and how this therapy can improve your oral health and smile. Read on!  

Understanding Orofacial Myology Disorders (OMD):  

Orofacial myology disorders encompass a range of conditions that affect the muscles and functions of the face and oral cavity. These conditions can be presented in various ways, including tongue thrusting, abnormal swallowing patterns, and speech difficulties and affect the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. These disorders arise when the jaw, lips, or tongue are improperly positioned, impacting facial structure, growth, and functions.  

OMDs can have diverse adverse effects, influencing speech, chewing, swallowing, facial appearance, skeletal growth, and even breastfeeding in infants.  

Common causes for OMDs include:  

1. Obstruction of the upper airway  

Conditions like expanded tonsils, a deviated septum, or allergies can restrict the free flow of air through the nasal airway. Consequently, individuals may resort to mouth-breathing, prompting the jaw to assume an improper position. 

2. Habitual thumb-sucking or prolonged bottle use  

Long-term habits of thumb-sucking can result in dental complications, leading to misalignment of the teeth and the development of malocclusion. Moreover, these habits can influence the positioning of the tongue and its function during the consumption of food or liquids. 

3. Delayed neuromotor improvement  

Abnormalities in orofacial muscles and structural differences can delay proper cheekbones and jaw growth. This can result in OMDs addressing these neuromotor challenges and encouraging optimal development.  

Common Orofacial Myology Disorders:  

  • Tongue Thrust  

Tongue thrusting is when the tongue pushes against the front teeth during swallowing. This can lead to issues such as open bites and improper dental alignment. The prevalence of tongue thrust among children underscores the vital importance of early intervention in addressing this issue.  

  • Speech Disorders  

Orofacial myology disorders often contribute to speech impediments. Difficulties in articulating sounds or forming words may be corrected from orofacial myology therapy.  

  • Improper Swallowing Patterns  

Abnormal swallowing patterns can impact oral and facial muscle development. This, in turn, may lead to dental issues and facial unevenness. Recognising and addressing these patterns is vital for maintaining optimal oral health.   

Orofacial Myology Treatment:  

Orofacial myology therapy involves exercises and techniques designed to retrain the muscles of the face and mouth. This therapy aims to correct improper habits and restore normal function. The demand for orofacial myology treatments has increased, emphasising this approach’s effectiveness. It includes exercises to teach you how to move your jaw correctly when eating and talking. Sometimes, it’s used with other treatments like braces or speech therapy if you have trouble chewing or swallowing because your tongue is not positioned correctly.  

Role of Orofacial Myologists  

Orofacial myologists are trained specialists who play a pivotal role in diagnosing and treating these disorders. The treatments include tongue thrust therapy, lip thrust, and tongue exercises. Alpha Dental in Perth has skilled dental specialists who work closely with individuals to develop personalised therapy plans, addressing the unique challenges presented in each case. Our Dental specialists go beyond and recognise the interconnectedness of orofacial myology and overall dental health, emphasising the need for a multidisciplinary approach.  

As the impact of OMD on oral health becomes increasingly apparent, the demand for effective treatment options continues to grow. Through orofacial myology therapy and collaboration with our dental specialists at Alpha Dental Clinic, individuals can embark on a personalised journey towards optimal oral health and enhanced well-being. Take the first step towards a healthier you – book your appointment with our expert team today, and let’s embark on this transformative journey together. Your brighter, healthier smile awaits!