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Contact Us (614) 885-3602

  • Writer's pictureBarbara McClatchie, DDS

Unlocking the Link Between Arch Development, Tongue Tie, and Sleep Disordered Breathing

Have you ever thought about the shape of your dental arch? Did you know that it can have an impact on your quality of sleep?


In the realm of oral health, there are many factors that are interconnected, and at Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus, we aren’t just looking at your teeth. One thing that we keep in mind during your comprehensive appointments is the health of your airway, including evaluating your arch development and examining the mouth for tongue tie. Addressing these parts of the mouth is pivotal for your comprehensive dental care and overall well-being. At our practice, we understand the importance of whole body health, and are dedicated to supporting and guiding you on your journey toward optimal wellness, providing you with high level care along the way.


The Importance of Nasal Breathing:

Nasal breathing is a fundamental aspect of maintaining optimal health and well-being. Beyond its role in oxygenating the body, nasal breathing serves crucial functions in filtering and humidifying the air we breathe. Additionally, nasal breathing promotes the production of nitric oxide, a molecule with various health benefits, including improved blood flow and immune function.


Why Mouth Breathing is Harmful:

When individuals consistently breathe through their mouths, it not only bypasses the natural filtration and humidification processes of the nose, but also can contribute to a range of health problems. Chronic mouth breathing can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, and an increased risk of dental issues such as cavities and gum disease. Moreover, mouth breathing can disrupt facial and oral development, especially in children, with arch and tongue tie issues playing a significant role.


Causes of Mouth Breathing:

Addressing the root causes of mouth breathing is essential for restoring proper breathing patterns and promoting overall health. We use a 3D scan to evaluate your skeletal anatomy to see if the structure influences your ability to sleep. 

  • Nasal/Sinus Abnormalities: Chronic sinusitis, a deviated nasal septum, and swollen/enlarged nasal turbinates can contribute to mouth breathing by obstructing the nasal airway. When these conditions persist, individuals may find it challenging to breathe comfortably through their noses, leading them to breathe through their mouths as an alternative.

  • Tongue tie: This is a condition where the strip of skin beneath the tongue (lingual frenulum) is shorter than usual, restricting the tongue's range of motion. This limitation can affect the tongue's ability to rest comfortably against the roof of the mouth, potentially contributing to airway issues.

  • Dental arch: The position of the tongue can influence the dental arch, impacting airflow during sleep. A properly positioned tongue helps support the natural development of the dental arch, ensuring proper alignment of the teeth and promoting optimal facial growth. When the tongue's function is compromised, it can contribute to dental arch abnormalities, potentially leading to issues in the airway.

  • Mallampati score: This is a scoring system that categorizes the visibility of certain structures in the mouth. To score this, we have you open wide and stick your tongue out so that we can see into the back of the mouth. A higher Mallampati score may indicate a reduced airway space, increasing the likelihood of breathing disruptions during sleep.


Holistic Approaches to Addressing Airway Health:

Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus recognizes the importance of a holistic approach to oral care, especially concerning airway health. By considering arch development, Mallampati scores, the presence of tongue tie, and more, we have a range of targeted intervention options based on your personalized need to support optimal airway function. This comprehensive perspective goes beyond traditional dental assessments, acknowledging the profound impact oral health can have on overall well-being.

Call (614) 885-3602 today to schedule an appointment with us for an oral examination so we can help you on your journey toward whole-body health!

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