How Orthodontia Helps Free Obstructed Airways
In early growth and development, there is a remarkable cycle of events that occur along the airway
structures through the course of proper breathing. Under normal conditions, the tongue stays high and naturally coaxes the upper palate to expand over time. When the upper jaw expands, the nasal passages grow along with it, promoting efficient nose breathing and all the long-term benefits that go along with it: better sleep, fewer illnesses, better cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and better school and work performance.
There are some instances, however, when this proper development doesn’t take place, resulting in
obstructed airways that never perform to their full potential. When young kids breathe primarily through their mouth, this is an indication the cycle of development has been disrupted. Mouth breathing requires a low tongue position to make the most of the air coming in. A low tongue position prevents the tongue from pressing against and expanding the roof of the mouth, resulting in a narrowed nasal cavity and obstructed breathing. It can also create a narrowed tongue, which further compounds the problem.
The symptoms of obstructed airways present differently in children and adults and can include:
- Frequent awakenings or restlessness while sleeping
- Frequent nightmares
- Daytime mouth breathing
- Poor school performance
- Daytime sleepiness
- Hyperactivity and/or ADHD
Identifying and correcting these important airway structures is imperative to helping kids and adults
achieve their full health and developmental potential. Pronounced mouth breathing is the most inefficient way to deliver oxygen to the body and the brain and has been known to cause or worsen conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and asthma.
Young patients who have already had their tonsils and adenoids removed with little relief could benefit
from orthodontic treatments that can make the most of the increased space. Studies have shown that
patients with airway obstruction have benefitted from oral appliances that guide the development of their upper and lower jaws. Palate expanders, for instance, can have a dramatic effect on nasal and sinus passages, which expand along with the palate. As the passages grow to their full potential, patients find that breathing through their noses not only becomes easier but also second nature. And that is a very strong step toward proper brain and body health.
Some dentists will claim there is a difference between “traditional orthodontia” and “functional orthodontia.” At Orthodontics by Crutchfield, we know the relationship between form and function is much more closely related. Our job as your orthodontic team is to give you the most authentic smile on the best possible foundation, giving you the look you want and the comfortable bite, speech clarity, airway improvement, oral health, and overall wellness you deserve. Function will always come first and form will follow, as will the results that last a lifetime.
Schedule your free airway and orthodontic consultation now.