There are numerous reasons why patients develop Overbites, Underbites, and often have underdeveloped jaws, sleep apnea, and TMJ pain. When one understands the causes of sleep apnea and the associated jaw development issues that occur, treatment dynamics change. Sleep apnea is not just from being overweight as was once thought.
3D scan of overbite patient with airway issues from the bite
A highly overlooked area is the jaw development arena. This often starts as an infant and even in childhood. The culprit is often Mouth breathing.
What is Mouth breathing and why is it so detrimental to jaw growth and development?
Generally speaking, if the mouth is open as one cannot breathe nasally, there are many consequences and health issues as well. Mouth breathing can cause bad breath, sleep issues, early aging, gum disease, and even high blood pressure in adults. According to Healthline, mouth breathing can lead to crooked teeth, facial deformities, or poor growth in children. Once you get in the habit of mouth breathing, it can be very difficult to stop.
I prefer to rephrase facial deformities to jaw development issues or facial asymmetry. With mouth breathing some patients develop a long face due to abnormal jaw growth. Others develop what is called a receded chin. There are multiple aberrations in growth that occur due to mouth breathing including TMJ pain and facial changes.
Additionally, breathing through your nose offers the advantage of having a nitric oxide attach to the oxygen which helps your lungs to absorb oxygen more efficiently in the lungs.
The good news is many of these issues can be corrected non-surgically from the airway to the facial proportions. Non-surgical jaw correction should include airway and TMJ assessment as well as cervical and postural evaluations. If you have questions regarding Houston TMJ, Houston airway centric dentistry, or Non-surgical jaw development, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.