In most cases, there is not one single cause. OMD may result from any of the following:
• Improper oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking
• Habits such as nail biting, cheek and lip biting and clothes chewing
• Grinding of teeth
• Restricted airway, which can be due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids
• Narrow upper jaw, a large tongue, or allergies
• Structural or physiological issues such as “tongue-tie”
• Neurological or developmental abnormalities
• Hereditary disposition to any of the above factors
These disorders can result in:
• Tongue thrusting
• Incorrect tongue rest position
• Crooked teeth
• Crowded mouths
• Mouth Breathing
• Poor posture
• Incorrect chewing function
• Altered speech patterns
• Asymmetrical lip & facial appearance and function
OMD can negatively influence dental growth, slow orthodontic treatment, and in many cases it may undermine the long-term stability of an orthodontic correction, resulting in relapse.
Furthermore, research has revealed that around 80% of patients with an undiagnosed or untreated OMD may have speech problems. When there is a combination of OMD and related speech problems, it is often difficult to correct the speech problems through traditional speech therapy until the OMD is corrected also.
Children and even adults with an incorrect chewing and swallowing pattern, including an inability to breathe adequately through the nose, may frequently chew their food with their lips open. This results in digestion issues such as an upset stomach, reflux, and bloating as air is swallowed along with partially chewed food.