Airway obstruction resulting from nasal cavity or pharynx blocking leads to mouth breathing which in turn can lead to bad bites, bad breath, and TMJ problems. TMJ Dentist Dr. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVI observes these problems in patients who present with facial postural alterations such as open lips, elongated faces, jaw rotation, and even a change in head posture.
These physiologic changes can be treated and prevented. By the age of 12, 90% of facial growth has already occurred. So ideally treatment should start between the ages of 6 and 8 years old if the problem is evaluated early enough. So, why wait until 90% of growth is complete before treating these problems?
There is nothing good about mouth breathing. It can disturb your neighbors (and yourself) by being noisy or just plain smelly. The reason it can cause TMJ problems is because mouth breathing puts the jaw in an abnormal placement for long periods of time. As a dentist with special interests in TMJ and development, Dr. Konig thinks it is essential that patients be evaluated early to help prevent these issues which will also help these patients overall health.
5 criteria that should be evaluated early on include:
-Facial and head posture
-Lip posture for lip seal
-Signs of allergic rhinitis and history of colds
-Sleep, snoring or poor sleep patterns
-Ability to breathe through their nose
Addressing these issues through the use of allergists, physicians, dentists, orthodontists, and ENTs for possible adenoid and tonsilar removal can help guide patients towards good health.
In overview, proper nasal breathing beginning in the early years of life is essential. There are numerous research articles supporting this summation.