Understanding Myofunctional Disorders: Impact and Treatment Strategies

Do you treat patients with speech, swallowing, or orofacial myofunctional issues? If so, you already know that an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive care can be critical to successful treatment outcomes. Your job as an SLP specialist is to recognize signs of MFD and provide targeted interventions for your clients, so you deserve the right tools to achieve that. 

In this blog post, we will examine the causes and symptoms of Myofunctional Disorders, recognizing their significance in oral health while exploring potential treatments that may help foster positive change and improved quality of life for those affected by these disorders. That way, you can provide the quality care your patients deserve. Let’s take a look!


How Do You Identify Myofunctional Disorders?

Myofunctional Disorders (MFD) refer to abnormal speech patterns, swallowing, or orofacial muscle function. These problems can range from mild to severe and affect the quality of life for these patients.

The first step in identifying Myofunctional Disorders is to become familiar with the signs and symptoms since they will guide your understanding of the disorder. Common signs of MFD include:

  • Poor breathing patterns, such as mouth breathing or shallow nasal breathing.
  • Oral positions such as lips that are pursed or teeth that aren’t touching.
  • Difficulty swallowing food, liquids, or saliva.
  • Poor tongue mobility when speaking or swallowing.
  • Abnormal jaw alignment or movement.
  • Difficulty producing certain speech sounds, like s, z, and other consonants.

Since MFD can have a wide range of symptoms, it’s important to pay close attention so you can differentiate between a myofunctional disorder and another type of speech, swallowing, or orofacial issue. 


The Best Treatment Options For Long-Lasting Relief

Patients living with Myofunctional disorders often require different approaches depending on the severity of the problem. Generally, treatment plans will involve combining therapy with other procedures to help reduce symptoms. Some common solutions include:

Surgery: This option is considered when physical and structural issues cause the patient’s MFD.

Orthodontics: Orthodontia is used to correct malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. This can help reduce MFD symptoms and improve overall oral health.

Myofunctional Therapy: Myofunctional Therapy (MFT) is a form of speech therapy that focuses on improving orofacial muscle movements and restoring normal muscle function. It typically involves exercises that target the tongue, lips, and jaw muscles.


The Role Of Speech-Language Pathologists

SLPs play a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of Myofunctional Disorders. As an SLP specialist, you have the expertise to assess your patient’s symptoms and provide guidance on managing them. By using a range of tools and techniques, you can make a real difference in the lives of your patients.


Enroll in Chatterton Myo Courses To Take Your SLP Knowledge To The Next Level

As a medical professional, there’s nothing more important than feeling like you’re improving your patient’s quality of life. That’s why you constantly seek ways to expand your knowledge and skills. Chatterton Myo offers specialized SLP courses, so you can achieve that. We understand how much your patients rely on you and want to help you be the best SLP specialist possible.

If you don’t take this opportunity to expand your SLP knowledge base, you risk missing out on potential solutions that could make a life-changing difference for those with Myofunctional Disorders. Take advantage of our courses today, and let us help you unlock the full potential of your practice!