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Myofunctional Therapy Initiates Proper Chewing and Swallowing

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Little boy holding a fork with a plate of food in front of him

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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) interrupt normal movement patterns, and can effect proper chewing and swallowing. But there is hope with Myofunctional Therapy.

Many individuals with OMDs have early delays when it comes to eating and swallowing. They end up with picky eating patterns as a result of their lack of oral coordination that is necessary in the first three years of life. Speech patterns can also be impacted since many OMDs are typically associated with the tongue, lip and jaw movement.

Since the early 1900s, orthodontists have documented their concerns about OMDs. Without addressing the issues, an individual could experience:

  • Long-term mouth-breathing patterns that can compromise healthy breathing overall
  • Detrimental oral habits that can inhibit or impede healthy growth and development
  • Atypical chewing and swallowing patterns
  • Improper tooth development or alignment
  • Improper jaw growth and facial structure development
  • Impact to any long-term orthodontic treatment stability, with possible malocclusion relapse
  • Negative impact on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Distortion of speech
  • Negative social relationships because of open mouth, or noisy chewing and swallowing
  • Sleep disordered breathing patterns due to improper tongue position

An individual can also experience issues like chronic face, neck and back pain; tooth grinding and clenching; headaches, TMJD or TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction); tinnitus; and vertigo. 

First addressing what is contributing to the OMD before any treatment can begin. Once the cause or bad habit is determined, Myofunctional Therapy can initiate proper chewing and swallowing and help teach new and healthy patterns of behavior.

If you’d are experiencing and OMD issue, please contact the specialists at Airway & Sleep Group.


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