Oromotor and Drooling Clinic
The Oromotor and Drooling Clinic at Children's National Health System treats problems that
occur when a child cannot control oral and facial muscles. These problems are often an associated
complication of neurological or conditions like hypotonia, cerebral
palsy, and developmental delays with feeding, swallowing and oral motor issues.
The clinic is a specialized service offered through Children's Division of Otolaryngology, which
specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head, and neck disorders.
Clinic Director Maria Pena, MD, and the dedicated clinic team evaluate and treat children who are at a
developmentally appropriate age for diagnosis and intervention, generally children who are at least
four years old.
Common conditions treated in the clinic:
- Oromotor Dysfunction
Oromotor dysfunction is an inability to control the muscles of the mouth, including the tongue,
lips and those involved in swallowing. This condition can interfere with speech and cause excessive
Sialorrhea is characterized by excessive drooling or salivation, a common problem in
neurologically impaired patients, including children with developmental delays or cerebral palsy.
Sialorrhea is associated with physical and psychosocial complications, including chapping,
dehydration, odor, and social stigmatization, which can be devastating for patients and their
We practice a family-centered approach to care and you are an important member of your
child's care team. In addition to a superior clinical program, our team teaches you how to
help manage your child's condition and recognize complications. The clinic coordinates with
all of the necessary specialists to ensure that each patient receives a personal treatment plan that
meets each child's unique needs and promotes healthy development.
Oromotor and Drooling Clinic
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