What is orofacial myology?
Orofacial Myology which is sometimes referred to as myofunctional therapy. This style of therapy is done by a Speech Pathologist, Dentists, Dental hygienist and therapists. It involves neuromuscular manipulation or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles to correct abnormal growth patterns of these structures.
Normal shape and function of the oral and facial muscles are essential for facial and dental development, speech production and breathing. The correct growth and development of these structures are linked to correct speech sound development and reduces the likelihood of requiring braces or developing obstructive sleep apnoea.
Conditions which can be treated with Orofacial Myology
There are a number of conditions that may require Orofacial Myology treatment and while this form of therapy may not directly treat a condition, it should significantly reduce the amount of time spent on other therapies such as articulation therapy with a speech pathologist. Some common conditions include:
- Eliminating speech errors such as an interdental lisp. This is where the tongue protrudes through the teeth when making the ‘s’ sound.
- Rectify crowding of the teeth caused by narrow development of the roof of the mouth. If done prior to the growth of the roof of the mouth or palate stabilising, extractions of permanent teeth which may need to be done to gain more space in the mouth may be avoided. Therapy can also help to avoid having to be fitted with braces or more invasive jaw surgery as the teeth have room to erupt and therefore do not get pushed out of place and end up crooked.
- Eliminating abnormal non-nutritive habits such as dummy, finger or thumb sucking
- Eliminating mouth breathing and training nasal breathing which leads to increased energy and better sleep patterns
- Eliminating faulty swallowing patterns that cause tongue thrust and lead to an open-bite which would require extensive dental work to correct
- Preventing scar tissue from forming after a tongue-tie or fraenulum release
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have questions about language activities, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.