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What is Orofacial Myology (OFM)?

Orofacial myology (OFM) is a specialised discipline used by dental and speech professionals in order to evaluate and treat a variety of oral, facial and postural functional disorders.

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Leanne Batley
Registered AHPRA Dental Practitioner
Dental Therapist/Orofacial Myologist

Leanne is a registered practicing Dental Therapist with more than 20 years' experience, working with children & adults to help achieve positive happy outcomes for their dental needs. She is trained in
the field of Orofacial Myology and her extensive dental knowledge lets her understand how the jaw andface develops. 


If you would like a consultation regarding Orofacial Myology, Oral Care or information on the Thumb Sucking Programme please get in touch.


My treatment is about the individual and their specific needs and will be treated holistically.  
Best outcomes are achieved through my patients understanding their needs and ability to continue the exercise routine.

About Leanne

What Does OFM Treat?

OFM treats orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) which are habitual patterns
that may disrupt normal growth, development and function of the face, head & neck.

OMD can be characterised by one or a combination of factors including:

'Tongue thrust' (see video)
Open mouth posture
A defective bite caused by thumb sucking
Forward rest posture of the tongue
Speech sound errors
Swallowing disorders

What are the Causes of OMD?

OMD can be caused by one or a combination of factors including:


Allergy sufferers often find it hard to breath normally through the nose.


Inflammation and mucus build up of the airway is often the cause. The result is a forward resting posture of the tongue which opens the mouth.  


Habitual mouth breathing can lead to throat infections
and orthodontic problems. 


In conjunction with the right practitioners (ENT & Allergists) OFM treatment may be theraputic.

Habitual Thumb & Finger Sucking

*Thumb & Finger sucking • Lip pressing & biting •
Nail & pen chewing


Continuing heavy pressure of the thumb or finger against the front teeth can lead to a change in normal dental occlusion (the teeth coming together in rest position) resulting in the need for orthodontic treatment. 


The tongue with the help of correct muscle function is retrained, this allows the tongue to sit up in the palate rather than low causing open mouth posture.

What Does OFM Treat?
The Causes of OMD
Who may refer you?

Who May Refer You to an Orofacial Myologist?

A variety of health professionals may refer you to an Orofacial Myologist including:

Speech Pathologists
Ears, Nose & Throat Specialists (ENT)
Sleep Doctors

How Does an OFM Session Work?

Your first visit to an Orofacial Myologist will assess face, teeth, posture and breathing + your first excerises. This will usually take up to 2 hours.
Sessions will continue for up to 8 lessons, 40-60 minutes each, every 2 to 4 weeks depending on the individual needs 


Thumb sucking is treated seperatly with the Thumb Sucking Programme.

If airways are blocked due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids or allergies, OFM treatment
maybe postponed until medical treatment for these conditions is completed.


If a child has unwanted oral habits (e.g., thumb/finger sucking, lip biting),
OFM treatment may first focus on eliminating these behaviors.

How OFM Can Help

Orofacial Myologists develop a treatment plan to help a child/Adult change his or her oral & physical posture. 
Treatment techniques for swallowing problems caused by OMD may include the following:

Increasing awareness of mouth & facial muscles
Increasing awareness of mouth & tongue postures
Improving muscle strength & coordination
Improving speech sound productions
Improving swallowing patterns
How OFM Can Help
An OFM Assesment
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