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Speaking of Tongues: Orofacial Myology

Every so often I would receive a call from a parent regarding her child’s inabilty to produce some speech sounds “due to tongue thrust.” Generally, I would probe further and discover that what the parent was calling a “tongue thrust” was a frontal lisp, which I would successfully treat. However, sometimes it sounded like the child was thrusting his or her tongue forward when swallowing, in which case I would refer the parent to a speech-language pathologist who was trained in orofacial myology. One day, however, a 16-year-old girl walked into my office with the worst production of the “r” phoneme I had ever heard. When her appointment had been booked, her parents said they were looking to

Does Your Child Have an OMD?

When your child rests, are his or her lips routinely apart? Does your child's tongue rest between or against the teeth? Does she or he have a tongue thrust? If your child has one of these or another harmful oral habit, then it may be time to call a speech-language pathologist or dental professional who is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD). Left untreated, an OMD could result in abnormalities in speech sound production, as well as improper alignment of teeth, periodontal disorders, orthodontic relapse, and abnormal jaw growth and position. More information is available from the International Association of Orofacial Myology. #tonguethrust #orofa

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