FAQ and Glossary
I get a lot of questions about what I do as well as the terms I use. Here are some questions I get often about my field. Below that are some key terms you will hear often and what they mean.
Frequently Asked Questions
- A Certified Orofacial Myologist (COM)
Licensure may include RDH, Dentist, Speech therapist all with special training listed below.
- A COM has completed:
- a 28-hour Introductory Course in Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
- Passed the rigorous certification process including a written & an onsite clinical examination
- Continue accreditation through the IAOM by participating in current continuing education courses
- Advance Classes in areas: re-education breathing, TMJ( TMD), Fascia and how it relates to pre and post-treatment of tongue ties, sleep disorder breathing, elimination of habits.
• 4-year-old children can benefit from an evaluation to determine what causative factors (impaired nasal breathing &/or Ankyloqlossia) may occur. Referrals are made to appropriate medical professionals. A Mini-Myofunctional Therapy Program may be appropriate for prevention &/or intervention of OMDs.
• 4-5-year old’s may be ready for a Habit Elimination Program.
• Children from 6-8 years & older are good candidates for an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Program.
• Teens to Adults can benefit from an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Program w/excellent long-term results.
An individualized evaluation is scheduled with a Certified Orofacial Myologist (COM) Chris Zombek
*The function of the jaw, lips, cheeks, & tongue is assessed.
*Measurements are taken
*Photos are taken of the face, teeth, lips, tongue, posture and any habit changes displaying.
*An oral swallowing evaluation is conducted with a variety of food textures.
*A speech evaluation may occur also if sound errors/ patterns are noted and a referral will be made at the end.
Dental evaluations and treatments focus primarily on providing health and stability of teeth in occlusion, or contact. By contrast, myofunctional therapy is concerned with orofacial functional patterns and postures when teeth are apart, which they are for over 95% of each day and night.
Courtesy of IAOM
Many recent scientific studies have shown that treatment for orofacial myofunctional disorders can be 80-90% effective in correcting swallowing and rest posture function and that these corrections are retained years after completing therapy, (Hahn&Hahn,1992
)There are many factors that contribute to the success of the therapy program. Of these, cooperation is an essential factor. Another important factor is the cooperation and communication between the therapist and the referring dental community. A team effort is essential to success.
There are many possible variations of orofacial myofunctional disorders just as there are many patterns of normal function. Some patterns are more common than others.
The effects of these patterns need to be evaluated individually, especially when there are dental, medical, or speech concerns. The decision to treat or not to treat should be made by a professional trained in Orofacial Myology. Orofacial Myology treatment goal include the improvement of muscle tonicity and establishing correct functional activities of the tongue, lips, and mandible so that normal growth and development can take place or progress in a stable, homeostatic environment.
Difficult to say that there is any one particular source as the sole cause of an orofacial myofunctional disorder. The result in most cases is a combination of factors. Many authorities suggest that orofacial myofunctional disorders may result from improper oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, cheek/nail biting, tooth clenching/grinding.
Restricted nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids and /or allergies.
Structural or physiological abnormalities such as a short lingual frenum (tongue-tie) or abnormally large tongue.
Neurological or development abnormalities
Hereditary predisposition to some of the above factors
Courtesy of IAOM
The prefix “Myo” stands for muscle. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders involve behaviors and patterns created by inappropriate muscle function and incorrect habits involving the tongue, lips, jaw and face. There are many variations of myofunctional but those involving the tongue and lips receive the most attention. A tongue thrust is the most common orofacial myofunctional variation. During the act of swallowing and /or during rest posture, an incorrect positioning of the tongue may contribute to improper orofacial development and maintenance of the misalignment of the teeth.
Example of an orofacial variation that relates to the lips is an open mouth, lips apart resting posture. This is often referred to as lip incompetence and can distract from a pleasing facial appearance.
Courtesy of IOAM
The following forms of payment are accepted:
Cash or Check, Visa, MasterCard, and Health Savings Account (HSA) cards.
We can supply an invoice for Flex Spending Accounts (FSA).
Please call 410-746-4887 for information on pricing.
You can also check with your insurance company to see if they will reimburse you for these visits.
Ankyloglossia is also known as tongue-tie.
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 )
The inferior longitudinal muscle of tongue is a narrow band situated on the under surface of the tongue between the genioglossus and hyoglossus.
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)