FAQ and Glossary

In my line of work, I get a lot of questions about what I do, treatment, etc.  Here are several questions I usually get as well as words we use that you may not hear everyday.

When do I need an OMT?

What causes OMDs?

What ages do you treat?

What happens if OMDs go untreated?


What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. OMDs may affect, directly and/or indirectly, breastfeeding, facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more. To see a comprehensive list of myofunctional disorders with photos, visit https://aomtinfo.org/orofacial-myofunctional-disorders-omds/

Who should provide treatment?

A Certified Orofacial Myologist®. Licensure may include RDH, Dentist, Speech therapist all with special training listed below.
A COM® has:
1. Completed advanced training in the cause, diagnosis & treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders.
2. Passed the rigorous certification process including a written & an onsite clinical examination.
3. Continued accreditation through the IAOM by participating annually in current continuing education courses.
4. Completed advanced classes in areas suck as: re-education breathing, TMD, fascia and how it relates to pre and post-treatment of tongue ties, sleep disorder breathing, elimination of habits.

How old does a patient have to be for treatment?

• 4-5-year old’s may be ready for a Habit Elimination Program. At this age, a Mini-Myofunctional Therapy Program may be appropriate for prevention &/or intervention of OMDs.
• Children from 6-8 years & older are great candidates to enroll in an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Program.
• Teens to Adults can benefit from an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Program w/excellent long-term results.


Buccinator muscle

The buccinator is a thin quadrilateral muscle occupying the interval between the maxilla and the mandible at the side of the face. It forms the anterior part of the cheek or the lateral wall of the oral cavity.


The hyoglossus, thin and quadrilateral, arises from the side of the body and from the whole length of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone, and passes almost vertically upward to enter the side of the tongue, between the styloglossus and the inferior longitudinal muscle of the tongue. It forms a part of the floor of submandibular triangle. (Wikipedia )

Inferior Longitudinal

The inferior longitudinal muscle of tongue is a narrow band situated on the under surface of the tongue between the genioglossus and hyoglossus

Orbicularis Oris

In human anatomy, the orbicularis oris muscle is a complex of muscles in the lips that encircles the mouth. Until recently, it was misinterpreted as a sphincter, or circular muscle, but it is actually composed of four independent quadrants that interlace and give only an appearance of circularity. (Wikipedia )


The palatoglossus, glossopalatinus, or palatoglossal muscle is a small fleshy fasciculus, narrower in the middle than at either end, forming, with the mucous membrane covering its surface, the glossopalatine arch.


The risorius is a muscle of facial expression which arises in the fascia over the parotid gland and, passing horizontally forward, superficial to the platysma, inserts onto the skin at the angle of the mouth. (Wikipedia )


The Styloglossus, the shortest and smallest of the three styloid muscles, arises from the anterior and lateral surfaces of the styloid process near its apex, and from the stylomandibular ligament.

Passing inferiorly and anteriorly between the internal and external carotid arteries, it divides upon the side of the tongue near its dorsal surface, blending with the fibers of the Longitudinalis inferior in front of the Hyoglossus; the other, oblique, overlaps the Hyoglossus and decussates with its fibers.


The term zygoma generally refers to the zygomatic bone, a bone of the human skull commonly referred to as the cheekbone or malar bone, but it may also refer to: The zygomatic arch, a structure in the human skull formed primarily by parts of the zygomatic bone and the temporal bone. (Wikipedia)