Orofacial myology (also referred to as orofacial myofunctional therapy) aims to re-establish normal functioning of the muscles (‘myo-‘) of the mouth (‘oro’) and face (‘facial’) in children and adults with orofacial myofunctional disorder.

What can Lead to an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?

An orofacial myofunctional disorder can be due to a variety of factors including the following:

  • Improper oral habits, such as :
    • Thumb or finger sucking
    • Sucking on dummies or comforters (e.g. blankets)
  • Orofacial habits such as:
    • Nail biting
    • Cheek and lip biting
    • Clothes chewing
    • Grinding of teeth.
  • Restricted airway, which can be due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a narrow or vaulted palate, a large tongue, an oversized uvula and/or allergies.
  • Structural or physiological abnormalities such as a restrictive lingual frenum (tongue-tie).
  • Neurological or developmental abnormalities.
  • Genetic predisposition to some of the above factors.

What do we offer?

Our Speech Pathologists have extensive experience in conducting comprehensive orofacial myology assessments and intervention for children and adults with identified orofacial myofunctional disorders. Treatment is tailored to the person’s specific abilities and needs, and often involves daily practice activities. Our clinicians work closely with the client, their family, caregivers and other health professionals to ensure that all needs are addressed. Your therapist will conduct a physical and functional examination of mouth and nasal areas. Food and fluid trials will also be used to assess chewing and swallowing.

Red Flags for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

Parents, Teachers, and Health Professionals are strongly encouraged to seek further specialist assessment if their child/patient presents with one or more of the following features:

  • Tongue thrust (abnormal swallowing pattern)
  • Incorrect tongue rest position
  • Crooked teeth
  • Crowded mouths
  • Mouth breathing
  • Forward head posture
  • Drooling
  • Incorrect chewing
  • Picky eating
  • Speech sound difficulties
  • Asymmetrical lip appearance and function
  • Asymmetrical facial appearance and function
Video: Learn about the impact of mouth breathing on dental, jaw and facial development from Dr John Mews.