American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders: Key Terms and Definitions

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders Resources

An interdisciplinary approach is essential for study, evaluation, and treatment of orofacial myofunctional disorders. Effective communication among speech-language pathologists and dental and medical specialists helps ensure optimal client/patient care. The following is terminology is used in clinical practice:

Airway Competency
sufficient patency of the nasal passages to permit effortless inward and outward flow of air
Lip Incompetence
a lips-apart resting posture or the inability to achieve a lips-together resting posture without muscle strain
Obligatory Tongue Thrust
a forward posturing or movement of the tongue induced by structural or physiological constraints
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
any pattern involving oral and/orofacial musculature that interferes with normal growth, development, or function of structures or calls attention to itself
Orofacial Myology
the science and clinical knowledge dealing with muscles of the mouth and face (orofacial muscles) and the typical and atypical variations of the functions thereof
Tongue Thrust
inappropriate or excessive lingual contacts against or between the teeth at rest or during vegetative or communicative functions
Transitional Tongue Thrust
tongue thrust accompanying developmental or other conditions that are temporary in nature

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