Definition of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
An Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder is a problem with the
movement of the tongue in the mouth during rest, speech and/or
Common signs of Orofacial Myofunctional
- Problems pronouncing sounds correctly
- Dental concerns, such as an open bite
- Tongue thrust: a habit of placing the tongue against or between
the teeth during speech or swallowing
What to do if you suspect your child might
have an Orofacial Myofunctional
If you suspect your child might have an orofacial myofunctional
disorders, talk to your primary care physician and dentist about
your concerns. Your physician can refer your child to a
Speech-Language Pathologist at Children's Mercy Kansas City for formal testing. A tongue thrust can be identified and
treated after age 5.
How is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) assesses your child's
movements of the tongue in conjunction with their lip, cheeks,
teeth, and jaws. Your child is observed while talking and while
swallowing liquids and/or solid foods. The SLP may recommend
further testing by an orthodontist and/or otolaryngologist (Ear,
Nose and Throat doctor).
How is an Orofacial Myofunctional
After testing, if your child is diagnosed with an orofacial
myofunctional disorder, your speech pathologist will provide you
with information about the condition and speech therapy resources
at Children's Mercy, the community. Orofacial myofunctional disorders are not
usually treated in the school, unless the problem affects the
child's educational progress.
The Kreamer Family Resource Center located on the ground floor of Children’s Mercy at Hospital Hill, Pink Zone, can help families with web-based resources about
orofacial myofunctional disorder.