Common Causes of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial myofunctional disorders, commonly referred to as OMDs, encompass a wide range of conditions impacting the muscles and function of the face and mouth. In Colorado Springs, where altitude can have an impact on breathing patterns, it’s critical to understand these disorders and how they are related to sleep issues such as sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing.

The sleep doctors at Breathing and Sleep Center in Colorado Springs want to help you understand the most common causes of these disorders.

Top Causes of OMDs

We’ve narrowed it down to the top causes, which we will explore below:

Incorrect Tongue Positioning

The position of your tongue plays a critical role in orofacial muscle function. Incorrect positioning, such as resting it against the bottom teeth instead of the roof of the mouth can lead to OMDs. It’s important to note that poor tongue positioning can contribute to airway obstruction during sleep, leading to conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing.

Thumb Sucking/Pacifier Use

Habits such as thumb sucking and prolonged pacifier use can impact normal orofacial development, which contributes to OMDs. Children in Colorado Springs may develop these habits due to discomfort related to the higher altitude or to self-soothe during disrupted sleep patterns. The sleep doctors at Breathing and Sleep Center emphasize the importance of addressing these habits early to prevent long-term issues.

Tongue Tie

Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the lingual frenulum is short/tight, which restricts the movement of the tongue. A tongue tie can impair proper tongue function, which leads to OMDs including speaking and difficulty swallowing. When left untreated, a tongue tie can lead to sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing issues. Therefore, early detection and treatment is critical.

Nasal Obstruction

Nasal congestion/obstruction due to allergies, sinus infections, or anatomical abnormalities can force individuals to breathe through their mouth- especially in the dry climate of Colorado Springs. This contributes to OMDs. The sleep professionals at Breathing and Sleep Center in Colorado Springs recommend addressing these underlying issues to improve breathing, which reduces the risk of OMDs and sleep-disordered breathing conditions.

Are You Experiencing Symptoms of OMDs?

Orofacial myofunctional disorders can have a significant impact on your oral health as well as your overall well-being. This is especially true in higher altitude regions where the air tends to be dry. When you understand the common causes of these conditions and how they are related to sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing conditions, you can take proactive steps to maintain healthy orofacial function.

Schedule your visit with the sleep doctors at Breathing and Sleep Center in Colorado Springs today. We want to help you get your breathing function under control so that you can get the quality sleep you need to improve your overall health and well-being.


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