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Orofacial myology is the science and clinical knowledge dealing with muscles of the mouth and face (orofacial muscles). Speech-language pathologists and registered dental hygienists are health professionals who can specialize in orofacial myology, working to treat orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs).

anterior open bite

What are OMDs?

According to the world's oldest and largest orofacial myology certifying organisation, International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM), orofacial myofunctional disorders are:
"Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are atypical, adaptive patterns that emerge in the absence of normalized patterns within the orofacial complex. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can often result in a variety of disturbances."

child eating soup

  • non-nutritive oral habits (thumb-sucking, pacifier-sucking, nail biting, tongue sucking)

  • atypical chewing patterns

  • atypical swallowing patterns (i.e. tongue thrust swallow)

  • abnormal rest posture of the tongue, lips, and/or surrounding orofacial muscles

  • blocked nasal airways, resulting in mouth breathing

 OMDs may involve:

OMDs may result in the following symptoms that may require the involvement of a multidisciplinary team:


  • dental malocclusions

  • facial or TMJ tension and pain

  • sleep disordered breathing

  • orthodontic relapse

  • abnormal facial and jaw growth 

  • compromised airways

  • clenching and bruxing of teeth

  • articulation disorders

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