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Orofacial Myology Disorders Treatment

Orofacial myology is the study of the muscles and skeletal structures of the mouth and face that affect speech, swallowing and/or chewing. When abnormal functioning is present, the speech pathologist can provide appropriate treatment.

Beaumont Children's orofacial myology disorders clinic assesses and treats defects of the mouth and face that effect the daily functioning of speech and/or swallowing. The short-term, intensive program provides patients with home exercises to restore normal functioning. Specifically, this program assesses and provides treatment for tongue thrust, swallowing and speech disorders related to open mouth or tongue forward mouth postures.

When these disorders directly effect speech articulation or swallowing, a certified speech and language pathologist can provide effective treatment. Assessment may require oral, motor or speech laboratory testing, including speech acoustics and aerodynamics or audio/video recordings. Treatment typically is accomplished in a short period (16 weeks) with one session per week. Patients are provided with speech and/or oral motor exercises.

What are orofacial myofunctional disorders?

Tongue thrust

Oral-facial defects or persistence of infantile motor behaviors may cause tongue thrust. As a child matures motorically a normal tongue gesture should replace the tongue protrusion of infant swallowing.

Dental-Occlusal defects

Dental occlusal disorders (i.e. abnormal dental eruption, open-bite, over-jet) and subsequent orthodontic management, such as dental braces may interfere with normal speech articulation or swallowing.

Did You Know?

  • It is estimated that 38 percent of children until age 18 exhibit some form of oromyofunctional disorder.
  • Open bite malocculsion without a tongue thrust occurs more frequently than open bite maloclussion with a tongue thrust.
  • A central lisp articulation disorder (when you replace the "s" sound with a "th" sound, such as "Tham" for "Sam") is often mistaken for tongue-thrust which is a swallowing dysfunction not a speech problem.