You might ask yourself what is the correlation between teeth and your airway. In the next several blogs I will try to answer that question. In actuality, your teeth do not have much to do with your airway, but your airway can have a major impact on your teeth.  By having a good, open upper airway and being able to breath through your nose with your mouth closed provides the most efficient means of getting oxygen. It is also extremely important to the development of a well formed oral environment, including arch form, spacing of teeth and proper alignment of the jaws.  Mouth breathing can lead to a number of problems if it a chronic condition. Short periods of interference in breathing does not have a major impact on your dental health, but long term mouth breathing can have a major influence on the way the dental arches develop and can affect the alignment of the jaws. This is most important in the early, developmental years of life. If this is not treated it can carry on into later stages of life. It is supported that moth breathing issues lasting greater than 4 months can be classified as chronic. There is literature to support this. Chronic mouth breathing can complicate oral development in the child. The arches do not develop correctly and it may contribute to conditions known as Sleep Disorder Breathing.  The symptoms most commonly seen mouth is held open most of the time. Abnormal tongue functions and position are related to restricted airway. These patients also often snore.  The restriction can be caused by a number of things such as chronic allergy, deviated septum, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, or enlargement of structures in your upper airway call the turbinates. The importance of airway concerns can not be underestimated. I will in the next couple of blogs discuss causes and treatment of this problem.

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