THE STUDY AND TREATMENT OF ORAL AND FACIAL MUSCLES
AS THEY RELATE TO SPEECH, DENTITION, CHEWING/BOLUS COLLECTION,
SWALLOWING, AND OVERALL MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
Common signs of an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder include:
dental occlusion changes & orthodontic problems
head, neck jaw, or facial pain or tension
sleep disordered breathing (obstructive sleep apnea & snoring)
poorly controlled swallow and difficulty swallowing pills
oral habits: thumb or digit sucking, bruxing and grinding of teeth, tongue or cheek sucking
limited food repertoire (picky eating)
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) include the abnormal rest postures and functioning of the oral and facial muscles and soft tissue complex. OMD's can often result in an atypical swallow pattern that is often referred to as a "tongue thrust." This atypical swallow pattern involves the coordination and patterning related to mastication (chewing), bolus formation/collection and transport of the bolus posteriorly. During this atypical swallow the tongue will stabilize itself anteriorly or "between the teeth" during the transport phase. When the tongue positions itself forward or sideways against and/or between the teeth during the process, it can have an adverse affect on the position of the dentition, craniofacial development, the orofacial soft tissue complex and coordinated patterns of all the associated musculature. It is estimated this disorder is prevalent in 30% of the population.
The resting posture of the tongue, jaw, and lips are extremely important in the normal developmental growth patterns. Atypical patterns may result in improper resting position of the tongue resulting in "openbite" or other malocclusion and open mouth rest posture. Untreated OMD's can lead to the development of TMD (temporal mandibular disorder) and pain associated with it in adults. Tongue-tie is often another causative factor in the development of OMD's. Many specialists agree that a restricted lingual frenum can result in dental, speech,and skeletal changes (jaw and palate formation).
Because of the specialization of orofacial myology BSPS works closely with a variety of healthcare professionals to address problems that may ensue. They include: pediatricians, otolaryngologists, allergists, dental specialists, maxial-facial surgeons, orthodontists, physical therapists, and chiropractors.
Proper diagnosis of an OMD can be complex and involve many parameters. BSPS is the only private practice in the Kansas City Metropolitan area that has therapists Certified in the diagnosis and treatment of OMD's. We provide a thorough assessment that relates to each modality affected and develop an individualized treatment plan to address the needs of our client.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
• TONGUE THRUST
• CHEWING AND SWALLOWING