How Can Airway Orthodontics Improve Your Breathing

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Orthodontics

Proper breathing is an important part of overall health. It ensures the body receives an adequate supply of oxygen; however, many people face challenges with breathing due to various factors, including issues within the airway. Orthodontics, traditionally associated with straightening teeth, can alleviate symptoms of airway obstruction and help improve your breathing.

What is Airway Orthodontics?

Airway orthodontics is a specialized branch of orthodontics that focuses on optimizing the relationship between the oral cavity and the airway to improve breathing function. Airway orthodontists assess the structure and function of the airway to identify any obstructions or abnormalities that may hinder breathing.

What Problems Can Airway Orthodontics Treat/Fix?

  • Narrow Dental Arches: Narrow arches can lead to crowding of teeth and restrict the amount of space available for proper tongue placement and airflow.
  • Malocclusions: Misalignments of the teeth and jaws, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, can contribute to airway obstruction and breathing difficulties.
  • Crowded Teeth: Crowded or overlapping teeth can create obstacles within the oral cavity, making it challenging for air to flow freely through the mouth and nose.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): OSA is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep due to airway collapse or obstruction. Airway orthodontics can help alleviate symptoms of OSA by expanding the airway and improving airflow.
  • Mouth Breathing: Chronic mouth breathing can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, and decreased oxygen intake. Airway orthodontics aims to address underlying issues that contribute to mouth breathing, such as nasal congestion or structural abnormalities.
  • Snoring: Snoring is often a result of airway obstruction caused by factors like narrow air passages or poor tongue positioning. Airway orthodontics can help reduce snoring by optimizing the airflow and addressing contributing factors.

Symptoms of Airway Conditions

Identifying common symptoms associated with airway conditions can help you recognize potential issues early and seek appropriate treatment. While symptoms may vary depending on the severity and type of airway condition, there are several signs that individuals should be aware of:

  • Snoring
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dry Mouth and Throat
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Restless Sleep
  • Morning Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Irritability and Mood Changes
  • High Blood Pressure

How Orthodontists Can Improve Your Breathing

Orthodontists employ a range of orthodontic treatments and interventions to address airway-related issues and enhance breathing. These may include:

  • Expansion Therapy: Orthodontic appliances such as palatal expanders can be used to widen the upper dental arch, creating additional space for the tongue and improving nasal airflow.
  • Orthognathic Surgery: In cases of severe jaw discrepancies or obstructive sleep apnea, orthodontists may collaborate with oral surgeons to perform corrective jaw surgery. This procedure can reposition the jaws to optimize airway patency and improve breathing.
  • Functional Appliances: Devices such as functional appliances and myofunctional trainers can help retrain oral muscles and correct oral posture, promoting proper tongue positioning and nasal breathing.
  • Invisalign and Clear Aligner Therapy: Clear aligner systems like Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth and align jaws while providing minimal interference with breathing and speech.

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Schedule and Airway Orthodontics Consultation

Don’t wait to experience the benefits of improved breathing. Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of airway obstruction or have questions about your oral health, schedule an orthodontic consultation at Refined Orthodontics in Midland, TX. Our team is here to work with you to help you achieve improved respiratory function and overall health.