The answer is an astounding YES! TMJ Dentist Dr. Konig explains the relationship between allergies, mouth breathing, bite problems, and TMJ. When allergies cause the nose to swell, people start to breathe out of through their mouth, which is problematic.
Prolonged chronic mouth breathing can lead to:
-Poor tongue repose
-Dry bulbous lips
-Inhibition of the swallowing reflexes at night
-Speech defects such as lisping
-Lower oxygen blood saturation
The point here is that almost all chronic mouth breathers develop a malocclusion (bad bite) that can, in turn, lead to TMJ pain and problems later in life if left untreated. In an attempt to find the culprit of TMJ problems, it is essential that an upper airway evaluation be performed prior to initiating orthodontic, prosthodontic, or even periodontic procedures.
What causes mouth breathing to happen? In children it is usually from enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, and in adults it is often from enlarged turbinates (turbinates are very responsive to allergens). Patients start breathing through their mouths when they cannot get enough oxygen through their nose. Oxygen is KEY! It is the most important thing we can (and must) put in our bodies, even more important than food or water since we can’t live without it!
Chronic mouth breathing causes dental open bites, narrow arches, flared anterior teeth, and even high palates that can push up on the turbinates. There is a long list of complications that Dr. Konig sees everyday when treating TMJ patients.
Additionally, other issues that can be related to upper airway problems from allergies are:
-Lowered exercise tolerance
-Obstructive sleep apnea
TMJ Dentist Dr. Konig hopes that this article helps recognize the importance of seeking treatment for this problem and he can attest to how proper treatment has changed the lives of many of our patients. If you have any questions about Houston TMJ or TMJ Treatment, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF 713-668-2289