I am proud to share the publication of an article I co-authored with Dr. Robert Mason, Emeritus Professor of Surgery and Previous Chief of Orthodontics at Duke University Medical Center, entitled,”Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and Otolaryngologists”. The purpose of the article is to alert otolaryngologists to Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) and their primary causes of airway interference including allergies. An understanding of the variety of OMDs should facilitate improved communications between otolaryngologists and IAOM Certified Orofacial Myologists since Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy will not be successful without the resolution of airway interference.
For years, dentists have told their patients that anterior open bites (bites where there is a gap or opening between the upper and lower front teeth) are created when the tongue is pushed between the front teeth during swallowing known as a “tongue thrust”.
Although the tongue is one of the strongest and most active muscles in the body, does swallowing actually cause dental malocclusions like an anterior open bite?
Parents ask me all the time, “How long will it take before my child eliminates his or her sucking habit?”
Thumb/Finger sucking habits are quite normal in infancy and early childhood. Many children experience pleasure from these habits for the first few years of life and then terminate them of their own volition. However, it is important to understand that these habits may become excessive as time goes by and can adversely influence the formation of the bony oral structure and/or position of the teeth and can lead to a dental malocclusion. It can also cause the tongue to rest in a low, forward position causing an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) of an incorrect resting posture of the tongue and lips and an incorrect swallowing pattern (known as “tongue thrust”) as well as developmental of a speech disorder such as a lisp. In addition, there are risks of infection from communicable diseases due to the simple fact that they can be be sucking non-sterile thumbs or fingers as well as social implications of ridicule by peers.
The length of time to eliminate a prolonged non-nutritive sucking habit has nothing to do with age but depends on 3 factors:
Common Problems Associated with Thumbsucking.
Did you know that thumb sucking is often seen in ultrasounds even before birth? According to a recent report, between 75 and 95% of infants suck their thumbs or fingers.
These Before and After dental photos are a continuation of posts about one of my patients, Shay Lowe Shull of Mix and Match Mama, who shared her experience with orofacial myofunctional therapy at Honor Franklin Myofunctional & Speech Clinic and orthodontics at Adams & McBride Orthodontics in my blog dated 4-19-2016 and showed her excellent results on 5-3-2016. Results like this are another example why IAOM Certified Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists are a necessary part of the orthodontic team in helping orthodontists achieve successful results.