The NSLC team has experience providing therapy for the following disorders:
Open mouth rest posture of the lips
Forward rest posture of the tongue and jaw
Weak lip muscles
Difficulty with chewing, gathering, and swallowing solid foods
Thumb/finger/tongue sucking patterns
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ORTHODONTISTS focus on how teeth fit together, or in occlusion, while orofacial myofuctional disorders occur when teeth are apart. Abnormal postures and functions of the tongue and lips can lead to a malocclusion and, if not corrected, can contribute to orthodontic relapse following orthodontics.
ORAL SURGEONS share similar concerns with orthodontists about orofacial myofunctional disorders, including tongue-tie. Following any surgical procedure in the oral cavity, the oral environment needs to remain stabilized and any postural or functional problems need to be corrected.
SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS become concerned if a child in speech therapy has an orofacial myofunctional disorder in conjunction with their speech disorder. Transition from sounds in isolation to conversational speech may be compromised.
PEDIATRICIANS become concerned if a sucking habit continues after the age of 6 since the shape of the dental arches and hard palate can be negatively affected.
o Creates a possible malocclusion
o Pressure of the thumb against the roof of the mouth can contribute to a high narrow palate
o Sucking habits anchor the tongue down creating a forward rest posture
o Contributes to abnormal tongue patterns o Alters respiratory patterns
o Alters normal facial growth patterns
The IAOM Board Certified Orofacial Myologist has the expertise and training to treat digit-sucking successfully through behavior modification. A positive and individualized program is utilized to help eliminate the noxious pattern.
o Thumb/finger/tongue sucking habits force the tongue to remain low and forward during the sucking action.
o An open mouth rest posture of the lips may be due to upper respiratory problems such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or chronic allergies which may interrupt normal nasal breathing.
o Tongue-tie will restrict tongue elevation, range of motion and in some cases affect feeding, eating, production and clarity of speech sounds, occlusion, as well as the correct rest posture
of the tongue.
However, when there is an underlying OMD in conjunction with a speech disorder, and the underlying problem is not addressed, speech therapy can be compromised. When the tongue is resting low and forward, the production of the phonemes /t/~/d/~/n/~/l/ and /s/ may occur. Low tone of the midline of the tongue allows the lateral margins of the tongue to flare laterally contributing to a lateral lisp. Without treatment, the precision and mobility necessary to achieve the transition from sounds in isolation to conversational speech may become problematic.
A diagnostic evaluation will determine when therapy should begin. The following factors will be considered:
o Presence/absence of OMD
o Discussion of medical, dental, and speech history
o Age and maturity of the individual
o School and social obligations
o Cooperation of individual and family members
o Commitment to therapy program