When most people think of orthodontics, they think of cosmetic enhancements of the smile. Today's savvy dentists, however, understand the current evidence that proves how orthodontics affect and improve overall health in many ways, including breathing. |
At Aviara Center for Orthodontics, our doctors are highly educated and skilled in improving jaw and facial development. When the face and jaw function properly, the result is an optimal smile with healthy airway support and improved breathing.
The Correlation Between Orthodontics and Breathing
While it's easy to understand that airway obstruction affects breathing, what many don't realize is that prolonged breathing impairment leads to malocclusion, jaw deformation, and craniofacial malformation. Even fewer people appreciate that the relationship is a two-way street.
The truth is, craniofacial malformation, jaw deformation, and malocclusion can also affect airway health and make breathing through the nose more difficult. This, in turn, leads to breathing impairments and airway obstruction.
When a patient has difficulties breathing through the nose, they tend to become chronic mouth breathers. This can lead to sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, but it can also lead to skeletal and dental malformations, especially in children.
In other words, problems with breathing can lead to orthodontic issues, and orthodontic issues can lead to problems with breathing. And a vicious cycle begins, where each issue worsens the other.
Managing jaw and craniofacial function and form, especially during early growth and development, can prevent long-term difficulties and correct breathing issues as they arise.
How does chronic mouth breathing affect the face and jaw?
Chronic mouth breathing in growing children can lead to craniofacial and dental malformations, including "long face syndrome." This happens because the lower jaw takes on an abnormal position.
Mouth breathing interferes with proper mandibular and maxillary development by disrupting cheek, tongue, and lip muscle forces. This can lead to lower jaw rotation, incompetent lip posture, low tongue posture, and excessive molar eruption and appearance of the anterior teeth and gums. Low tongue posture can cause narrowing and improper development of the upper jaw.
Research also indicates a strong correlation between mouth breathing and maxillary crowding, open bite, crossbite, and overjet.
Many doctors and researchers also believe chronic mouth breathing leads to fitful sleep, which can lead to difficulty concentrating and irritability. This can cause behavioral problems in children, which may result in a recommendation for ADHD medication.
Orthodontics and Chronic Mouth Breathing
Research shows that chronic mouth breathing is four times more prevalent in children with orthodontic abnormalities. Of course, chronic mouth breathing also leads to other problems, which, in turn, increases issues with breathing.
The exciting news is that the doctors at Aviara Center for Orthodontics not only understand the relationship between craniofacial and jaw issues with breathing, but they know how to correct the issues.
When recognized early, mouth breathing is reversible. Treatment may include removable orthodontic appliances that expand the jaw, open the sinuses, and widen the mouth, making breathing through the nose easier.
Other treatments are also available that reverse or prevent craniofacial development problems.
Some of our treatments include:
Osseo-Restoration Appliance/Advanced Growth Guidance Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) Appliance Myofunctional Therapy with a Myobrace Laser-Assisted Functional Frenuloplasty
Start Breathing Easier Today with Orthodontic Treatment
If you or your child experience jaw or craniofacial deformities that affect your breathing, we can help. Our treatment options not only improve breathing issues and provide a healthy airway, but they also result in a beautiful face and smile!
Learn more about how we can help improve breathing and airway issues while getting you or your child on a path to better overall health.
Call us at (714) 786-1364 or contact us online today to schedule your consultation.
Dr. Katherine Ahn Aviara Centers 714-230-2434
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