Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)

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Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) pertain to a variety of functional disorders of the face particularly involving the function and muscles of the tongue, lips, cheeks and jaw. The key distinguishing trait is a protruding tongue with thrusting movement. Tongue thrust refers to the tongue resting against the front or side of teeth while swallowing instead of lifting up into the palate. It is prevalent to see this protruding thrusting tongue in infancy and in about ½ of first graders; however, as time progresses it should gradually go away. To elaborate on orofacial myofunctional disorders, I will include a brief history of how OMD was discovered, how it is caused, how it is diagnosed, related signs and symptoms, treatment and finally…show more content…
Therapy will include exercises and stimulation that work to inhibit incorrect oral behaviors and strengthening of correct oral muscle functioning. The patient will need to spend 5-10 minutes a day performing recommended therapy. A multidisciplinary treatment is necessary to reach functional goals of swallowing, speech, and other esthetic factors. Team members could include an orthodontist, dental hygienist, orofacial mycology therapist, dentist and a speech pathologist. The target areas of therapy include: eliminating oral habits (chewing gums, digit sucking and/or nail biting), decrease of unnecessary tension and pressure in the facial muscles, building muscle strength in the functioning facial structures, establish normal resting positions of the tongue, jaw, and facial muscles, and development of normal biting, chewing, swallowing, and increasing awareness of mouth and facial muscles. Children will need help and encouragement from their family and the best outcomes are achieved when parents work with their child every day. If the cause is due to an airway obstruction surgery may be needed prior to therapy. Some complication resulting from orofacial myofunctional disorders can include: speech distortion, chronic open mouth positioning, dental abnormalities (e.g. over jet and open bite), tooth decay, treatment discomfort,…show more content…
We have addressed several aspects of the disorder such as its history, its causes, diagnosing, related signs and symptoms, treatment and complications. That being said, one key aspect that I could not find much information on is the prevention. Before this assigned topic, I had recognized many of the symptoms in patients; but never heard of the disorder. Since many of the cases are related to oral habit, oral habits we all have caught ourselves doing at some point, I believe measures to bring OMD to light and perhaps spot lighting the preventative measures would be a benefit. Preventative measures such as educating about the effects of thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use or bottle-feeding since early detection and treatment is key in minimizing complications. The potential damage orofacial myofunctional disorders have on a person’s self-esteem, communication and functioning ability in addition to future dental problems and the lack of familiarity most people have with OMD, should prove that this disorder needs more attention and more

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