Karen J Harris, DMD & Associates

Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is a specialized treatment that focuses on improving the function and coordination of the muscles in and around the mouth. These muscles play a crucial role in various activities, such as breathing, swallowing, chewing, and speaking.

During myofunctional therapy sessions, trained therapists in St. Louis, MO, work with patients to identify any incorrect oral habits or muscle imbalances that may be impacting their overall oral health. This could include issues like tongue thrusting, improper swallowing patterns, or mouth breathing. The goal of myofunctional therapy is to retrain these muscles through exercises and techniques designed to strengthen them and promote proper function. By doing so, it can help address a wide range of issues, including speech disorders, TMJ pain, sleep apnea, orthodontic concerns, and even facial aesthetics.

At Karen J Harris & Associates in St. Louis, MO., we offer comprehensive myofunctional therapy services aimed at helping our patients achieve optimal oral health and function. Our experienced therapists are dedicated to providing individualized care using evidence-based techniques. Call us to learn more.

The Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy in St. Louis, MO

  • Improved Breathing:Myofunctional therapy helps correct improper oral habits that can restrict the airway, leading to mouth breathing. By strengthening the muscles in the face and tongue, it promotes nasal breathing and increases oxygen intake.
  • Enhanced Speech: Myofunctional therapy targets tongue placement and muscle coordination, improving articulation and clarity of speech. It can benefit individuals with speech difficulties such as lisps or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.
  • Corrected Swallowing Patterns:Many people have incorrect swallowing patterns where the tongue pushes against their teeth during swallowing instead of resting on the roof of the mouth. Myofunctional therapy trains proper swallowing techniques, preventing dental issues like open bites or malocclusions.
  • Reduced TMJ Pain:Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause jaw pain, headaches, and facial discomfort. Myofunctional exercises help alleviate TMJ symptoms by relaxing tense muscles and improving overall jaw function.
  • Alleviated Sleep Apnea Symptoms:Myofunctional therapy strengthens throat muscles involved in maintaining an open airway during sleep. This can reduce snoring and improve sleep apnea symptoms for better restful nights.
  • Improved Facial Aesthetics:Proper oral posture through myofunctional therapy can contribute to a more balanced facial appearance by correcting issues like an overbite or recessed chin.

The Process of Myofunctional Therapy in St. Louis, MO

The process of myofunctional therapy in St. Louis, MO, involves several steps to help patients improve their oral function and correct any underlying issues.

First, a comprehensive evaluation is conducted by a trained myofunctional therapist in St. Louis, MO. This assessment includes an examination of the patient's facial structure, tongue posture, swallowing patterns, and overall oral muscle function. Based on the findings from the evaluation, a personalized treatment plan is created. This plan may include exercises and techniques specifically designed to target weak or dysfunctional muscles in the mouth and face. During therapy sessions, patients work closely with their therapist to learn and practice these exercises. The goal is to strengthen and retrain the muscles involved in breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speaking.

Consistency is key in myofunctional therapy. Patients are encouraged to perform their prescribed exercises daily at home between sessions. This helps reinforce new muscle habits over time. As progress is made, follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor improvement and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Myofunctional therapy typically requires dedication and patience from both the patient and the therapist. With consistent effort and guidance from a skilled professional like those at Karen J Harris & Associates in St. Louis, MO, positive results can be achieved in improving oral function for better overall health. Our team is here to help you in every step of the process. We also offer financing options to make your visits affordable.

Exercises and Techniques Used in Myofunctional Therapy in St. Louis, MO

In myofunctional therapy, various exercises and techniques are employed to address the underlying issues causing oral dysfunction and promote proper muscular function. These exercises target the tongue, lips, jaw, and facial muscles, aiming to improve swallowing patterns, breathing habits, chewing efficiency, and overall oral posture.

  • One commonly used technique is tongue strengthening exercises. Patients may be asked to press their tongues against different areas of the mouth or use specific devices to strengthen the tongue muscles. These exercises help correct any weaknesses or imbalances in muscle tone.
  • Lip exercises are also integral to myofunctional therapy. Lip sealing exercises encourage patients to maintain proper lip closure at rest and during activities such as speaking or eating. This helps prevent mouth breathing and promotes nasal breathing for better overall health.
  • Jaw exercises play a crucial role in improving jaw stability and alignment. Patients may perform gentle jaw stretches or resistance training using tools like chewable toys or exercise balls.
  • Additionally, therapists often incorporate breathing retraining techniques into myofunctional therapy sessions. These focus on teaching patients how to breathe through their nose rather than their mouth, promoting healthier airflow patterns.

These exercises aim to retrain the muscles involved in oral function while establishing healthier habits for improved overall well-being.

Myofunctional Therapy at Karen J Harris & Associates, St. Louis, MO

If you or someone you know is seeking myofunctional therapy in St. Louis, MO, look no further than Karen J Harris & Associates. Our team of experienced therapists is dedicated to helping individuals improve their oral function and achieve optimal health. Through personalized treatment plans and a variety of exercises and techniques, our myofunctional therapy program addresses the underlying causes of dysfunctional oral habits. By targeting tongue posture, breathing patterns, swallowing techniques, and more, we can help correct these issues and restore proper function.

The benefits of myofunctional therapy in St. Louis, MO, are numerous – from improving speech clarity to reducing dental problems such as orthodontic relapse and sleep apnea symptoms. It's a holistic approach that not only enhances oral health but also contributes to overall well-being.

At Karen J Harris & Associates in St. Louis, MO, we understand that each individual is unique with specific needs and goals. That's why our therapists take the time to assess your condition thoroughly before designing a customized treatment plan tailored specifically for you. Whether you're looking to address airway issues in children or seeking post-orthodontic support for yourself or your loved ones, our myofunctional therapy services can make a significant difference in your life.

Don't let dysfunctional oral habits hold you back any longer! Contact us today at Karen J Harris & Associates in St. Louis, MO, for expert guidance on how myofunctional therapy can benefit you or your family members. Take the first step towards better oral health and improved quality of life - we're here to support you every step of the way!

Get in touch with Karen J Harris & Associates at 2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103, or call (314) 231-4893 to learn more about the perks of myofunctional therapy.


2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103

Office Hours

MON - THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: kharrisdmd@sbcglobal.net

Phone: (314) 231-4893