Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

Orofacial Myofunctional Evaluation

What is a tongue thrust?


In children with orofacial myofunction disorder (OMD), the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing, and at rest.


Although a "tongue thrust" swallow is normal in infancy, it usually decreases and disappears as a child grows. If the tongue thrust continues, a child may look, speak, and swallow differently than other children of the same age. Older children may become self-conscious about their appearance.


The following may cause OMD:

  • allergies

  • enlarged tonsils and adenoids

  • excessive thumb or finger sucking, lip and fingernail biting, lip picking

  • teeth clenching and grinding

  • family heredity


Our assessment will include the following:


Oral-Facial Examination- observation of face, jaw, lips, tongue, teeth, hard and soft palates, pharynx. Digital pictures may be taken to record dental structure.


Complete swallowing evaluation- client is observed while swallowing solid foods and liquids.


Articulation evaluation- as a result of tongue thrust, some clients incorrectly articulate sounds such as /s/, /z/, “sh”, “ch”, and “j” because their tongue slips out between the teeth. Other sounds like /t/, /d/, /n/, and /l/ may also be produced incorrectly due to weak tongue muscles.

(ASHA, 2016)

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Downtown Office (blocks from Metro Center)Woo

1331 H st NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC, 20005

Phone: 202-417-6576

Fax: 202-318-1419

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