Mouth Breathing & Growth – Dental and Health Problems

Chronic mouth breathing has long been seen as a concern by dentists, hygienists, orofacial myologists, speech/ language pathologists, and orthodontists. Some of the problems it causes or contributes to are listed below:

Forward head posture (neck muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue and cervical joint damage) Headache, hyperactivity,  hypocapnia,   pH imbalance,  Elongated face,  malocclusion,  anterior open bite,  TMJ dysfunction, Gum disease,  bad breath,  dental decay and infection      Reduced dental arch space with increased crowding of teeth.

Dry mouth and throat, bed wetting, constipation, dehydration,Increased allergen/infection entry to lungs, excess mucus production,  allergies,  asthma,  Chronic tonsil swelling, enlarged adenoids,  nasal polyps,  Noisy eating,  noisy breathing,  deviated septum,    snoring,  sleep apnea,  Greater potential for relapse of orthodontic correction.

By using BreathWay to retrain breathing patterns with the doctor-developed Buteyko Breathing Method, an individual can prevent many of these problems from occurring and in most cases they can begin to be reversed. Correct Breathing is the solution for restoring normal nasal breathing, reconnecting to the bodies ability to heal and restore health. Crowded and protruding teeth are almost entirely caused by incorrect jaw size and shape, rather than the common perception that the teeth are too big. Jaw shape and size develops entirely from the functional activity of the tongue, the lips and surrounding facial muscles. Many research publications are now showing  the development, size and shape of the jaws is almost entirely influenced by how the child breathes, swallows and positions the tongue. Incorrect habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking, incorrect swallowing and poor posture are the major contributing factors of orthodontic problems. These habits should be corrected as soon as they are evident. Without the correction of these habits, growth of the face and alignment of the teeth will not be correct.  Straightening the teeth with extractions, will indeed make the teeth straight, however outcome of the overall treatment often makes things worse as the root of the problem (mouth breathing) was never addressed. There is little scientific justification for extracting permanent teeth for orthodontic purposes. By correcting of these myofunctional habits, not only will teeth become and stay aligned, in growing children facial development will be improved.

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Just a Habit?

The good news is that overbreathing is a habit. The part of your brain that regulates the amount of air you breathe becomes accustomed to breathing too much. Hyperventilation becomes habitual, so even when the primary cause is removed, the behavior remains.

Why is Carbon Dioxide so important?  The CO2 is carried by your veins to your lungs, where the excess is exhaled. Breathing a correct volume results in the required amount of CO2 being retained in your lungs. When you overbreathe, too much CO2 is exhaled.

Carbon Dioxide is not just a waste gas. It is necessary for a number of vital bodily functions including  Transportation of Oxygen.  The release of Oxygen from hemoglobin is dependent on the quantity of Carbon Dioxide. If the Carbon Dioxide is not at the required level, the Oxygen “sticks” to hemoglobin and is not released to tissues and organs. The greater the amount of air taken into your body, the less Oxygen is delivered. In order to oxygenate the tissues and organs, modern man needs to breathe less not more.

“I was very skeptical about this course but after two classes, I noticed an improvement. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and already my energy levels had improved. But the turning point for me was the fourth day, taking a walk — no more huffing and puffing!”


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