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Myofunctional Therapy

Formerly referred to as "Tongue Thrust" Therapy, myofunctional therapy encompasses so much more. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are atypical patterns of the muscles of the face and mouth which affect normal growth and development, or function related to breathing, swallowing, and/or speaking. Children, adolescents, and adults may be affected.

Signs & Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty coordinating suck-swallow-breathe as a baby

  • Abnormal tongue rest posture between or against the teeth

  • Frenum restrictions (tongue-tie, lip-tie, buccal-tie)

  • Open-mouth, lips apart rest posture

  • Improper alignment of the teeth

  • Improper jaw growth

  • Drooling, past the age of 2

  • Messy or loud eating

  • Immature, tongue thrust swallow pattern

  • Distortion of /s, z/ sounds (frontal or lateral lisp)

  • Non-nutritive sucking habits (pacifier, finger, thumb), beyond 12 months of age


At this time, there is no known single cause. OMDs may be caused by several factors, such as:

  • Blocked nasal passages due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum, chronic allergies

  • Improper or prolonged sucking/chewing habits (pacifier, finger/thumb, nail biting, sippy cups)

  • Muscular or structural differences, such as ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), which prevents the tongue from resting in the correct location


All ages may benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy. Children as young as 3 years of age can successfully eliminate prolonged sucking habits, increase nasal breathing, reduce drooling and increase speech articulation. A unique program to eliminate tongue thrust and further promote nasal breathing and use of the correct rest posture is beneficial to children (as early as 8 years of age), teenagers and adults. Therapy consists of weekly treatments and associated homework taking 10-20 minutes per day.


Goals of orofacial myofunctional therapy include:

  • Establish nasal breathing

  • Eliminate harmful oral habits

  • Correct and normalize oral rest posture

  • Reduce jaw pain

  • Improve oral muscle function

  • Correct swallow posture

  • Reduce the potential for orthodontic relapse

  • Eliminate the need for tongue blocking or avoidance appliances

  • Minimize scarring and maximize function if ties are present and release is indicated

  • Improve speech articulation, if affected

Melissa's teletherapy practice is dedicated to helping orthodontic and surgical patients from Orange, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties. 

OC Orofacial Myology is an out of network provider. We do not accept insurance but are happy to provide a super bill that you may submit for potential reimbursement.

To request an assessment for you or your child, please complete the intake form below and we will contact you.


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