Pat Brinkman-Falter, BSDH, PHRDH, MS, COM®

Identifying Myofunctional Disorders in Your Patients: Muscle Function -- and Dysfunction

Course Description

Dental hygienists and Speech Language Pathologists are highly educated professionals who screen for health problems for optimum care for our patients. We are trained to be the soft tissue specialists in our respective fields, and we have to ability to screen for many oral disorders. SPOTS is the acronym developed by the speaker to aid the clinician in easily identifying myofunctional disorders in the clinical setting. We will look at how Speech, Posture, Occlusion, Tethered oral tissues, and Swallow affect our patients. This includes myofunctional disorders which are prevalent in our society today with our fast-food diets and technology-driven lives. The participant will also get a look into myofunctional therapy, which is an individualized program designed for neuromuscular re-education and coordination of the orofacial musculature for good speech and swallow, and to restore the correct rest posture of the tongue and lips, which is critical for good oral development and normalizing function. Many times, myofunctional therapy also enhances breathing and numerous studies have shown its efficacy in assisting sleep apnea patients, making their CPAPs more effective.

Learning Outcomes

The participant will be able to:

  1. Identify how speech, posture, occlusion, tethered oral tissues and swallow can affect oral and facial development
  2. Demonstrate the SPOTS screening tool for their clinical practice and patient education
  3. Identify how TMJ disorders can be affected by myofunctional influences
  4. Explain how the position of the tongue, and its functions, affect the orofacial structures and body posture


Timed Agenda

  • 5 min   Overview
  • 15 min Tongue functions related to speech
  • 20 min Posture and airway
  • 20 min Occlusion and TMJ implications
  • 20 min Tethered oral tissues, identification, and their consequences
  • 20 min Swallow dysfunctions
  • 10 min Case studies and results
  • 10 min Questions

.20 Credits

Fri, Mar 12, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM EST