Factors that Impact our Airway!
We often take for granted our ability to breathe. Though breathing in should come natural, if we are not breathing properly from our nose to our diaphragm we may not be getting the full benefits of our breathing. Our oxygen quality can be impacted and our entire body can feel the consequences.
There are many factors that impact our ability to breathe the way we were intended. Our mouth is indeed our gateway to breathing so I like to start there. The base of the tongue itself can lie in the way of the opening of our airway impacting how we breathe. The tongue is connected to the diaphragm through a network of fascia. The diaphragm not only plays a vital role in our breathing, it also impacts whole body health. The following article does a great job at explaining how the diaphragm and connecting organs influence our breathing.
Another factor that greatly influences our breathing the size of our airway and upper and lower arches. One of the best things an orthodontist or dentist can do for a child is evaluate them early on in development to see if they have adequate airway space. While traditional orthodontics focus on creating a beautiful smile, an airway focused professional aims to guide the growth and development for the sake of the childs long term health. Starting in preschool years, an airway focused provider can work to guide the growth and development of the airway for your child. Somewhere before the pre-teen years, the majority of the natural growth has already taken place. Fortunately there are some dentist and orthodontist who have become passionate about whole body health and have found ways to successfully expand a persons' upper and lower arch to increase their ability to breathe.
Oral Myofunctional Therapy alone has some amazing benefits by toning muscles related to breathing and creating proper tongue placement. However, when the focus is on the airway, collaboration with other amazing providers may be necessary to reach a persons goals.