Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (oro - mouth; facial - face; myo - muscle)
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders involve behaviors and patterns created by inappropriate muscle
functional and incorrect habits involving the tongue, lips, jaw and face.
There are many possible myofunctional variations. Tongue thrust is the most common orofacial
myofunctional disorder. Other improper oral habits include: thumb or finger sucking, cheek or nail
biting, clenching and grinding.
The source an cause of myofunctional disorder is difficult to determine. It is likely the result of a
combination of factors including the following:
Restricted nasal airways due to enlarged tonsils, adenoids or allergies.
Any type of structural or physiological abnormalities including malocclusion or abnormally large
Neurological or developmental abnormalities.
Oral Habits of Compulsion are repeated movements involving the mouth. Including: lip biting, lip
licking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting, and thumb or finger sucking.
Tongue thrust is an abnormal swallowing pattern. It is the way babies swallow when they have no
teeth. Most tongue thrusters lick their lip prior to swallowing. They swallow with the tongue between
the teeth instead of on the roof of the mouth. They do this about 2000 times per day and exert high
pressure forces on the teeth.
The forces Orofacial Myofunctional Disordersof are very destructive. The repeated forces caused by
these habits move teeth and bone.
Most Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and habits will greatly affect orthodontic treatment.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists are experienced in treating oral habits including tongue biting,
tongue sucking and tongue chewing.
For a directory of practioners or more information please contact: International Association of