What is a orofacial myofunctional disorder(omd)?

Inappropriate muscle development or use of the face, mouth and/or tongue resulting in dysfunctional lip, jaw or tongue movements during rest, swallowing or speech. Many OMDs are caused by or contribute to airway issues.


Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) causes are multifactorial. They can be caused by:

  • Genetic defects like tongue ties, cleft palate, craniofacial abnormalities and syndromes

  • Oral habits like thumb, finger, object sucking, extended bottle or pacifier use

  • Airway issues like congestion caused by allergies or sinusitis, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, deviated septum, polyps, elongated soft palate and any other obstruction

  • Diet. There has been research suggesting that refined sugars and the western diet can change the craniofacial development of a people group over one generation.

the OMD airway connection

OMD airway with graphic.JPG

effects of omds

The tongue is such a critical component to our overall health. Although it seems like a small thing, it’s position and function in the mouth can help or hinder us in many ways. Early on in development it can help form and retain the shape of the roof of the mouth, which is also the floor of the sinus. If the tongue is low and can’t rest on the roof of the mouth it effects the swallow, resulting early on in difficulty with breastfeeding. These two factors combined can prevent ideal development of facial structures and airway. As the child grows and develops and their structures become compromised which further compound the existing habits and problems, causing somewhat of a trickle effect as shown above.