Joy Lantz

What is OMD


OMD stands for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD’s) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and the mouth.   OMD refers to abnormal resting posture of the face and mouth, atypical swallowing patterns, dental malocclusions, blocked nasal airways and speech issues. OMD’s include a wide variety of oral postures, habit patterns and functions which interfere with normal growth and development or function of structures.  These disorders can lead to incorrect muscle patterns that can lead to different problems.


“Oral resting position means where the muscles of the mouth are at rest.  When the tongue cannot rest inside the roof of the mouth and the lips do not stay closed, teeth become crowded, faces grow to be longer and the airway can be compromised.”


Sometimes a single cause can be established for the development of OMD, but many times the result is due to a combination of various factors. These may include structural abnormalities such as being tongue-tied.  Another factor can be improper habits such as nail biting, cheek biting, teeth clenching and grinding, or sucking of the thumb or fingers. Deviations in the pharynx or nasal cavity, allergies, or airway restrictions resulting from an enlargement of the tonsils or adenoids may also be part of the cause of OMD. Heredity also plays a factor in determining who might develop some of these conditions.


Research has discovered that around 38% of the population has some type of OMD condition. It has also been found that in children who have speech issues and articulation problems, that 81% of these children have some type of OMD disorder.  OMD disorders can also affect:

  • breastfeeding
  • swallowing
  • chewing
  • skeletal development of face and mouth
  • dental occlusion
  • oral hygiene
  • jaw movement
  • stability of orthodontic treatment
  • facial esthetics