Teeth & Breathing

These 4 pictures show us –
1. that our ancestors, 400+ years ago, had wide dental arches
2. the roof of the mouth – is also the floor of the nose.

A wide Upper arch is developed and maintained by the Tongue sitting UP in the roof of the mouth. The Tongue is the strongest muscle, for its size, in the body and as such is well able to support the top teeth and keep them straight. This is a fundamental principle of Myofunctional Orthodontics. This UP positioning of the tongue also allows for healthy nasal breathing.

Nasal breathing has the following advantages over mouth breathing –
1. the air is warmed
2. the air is filtered
3. moisture is added to the air
4. Nitric Oxide is added to the air, from the paranasal sinuses (which are by passed if breathing through the mouth). Nitric Oxide has “potent vasodilating, and antimicrobial activity”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18951492

So children who breathe through their nose, are more healthy than children who breathe through their mouth – oh, and by the way – if they keep their tongue UP, they are also more likely to have straight teeth.

A child that doesn’t have correct tongue posture could suffer the following consequences –
1. Is likely to have breathing issues.
2. Crowded teeth
3. Mouth breathing affects the growth of the face
Does your child snore? Snoring in children is a sign of Sleep Disordered breathing and is NEVER normal. Your child may snore when they have a cold, due to a blocked nose but, it shouldn’t continue once the cold has gone.

Let us know if your child snores and we will give you a diary to complete, to record your child’s snoring habits, before deciding if your child needs to be referred to your GP or to an ENT.

Early Orthodontic intervention may help their breathing by widening their jaws and making nasal breathing easier.