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Breathing and Dental Health

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Every aspect of our life is affected by our sleep. If we sleep poorly then we compromise our physical health, our mental health, and our dental health. At best poor sleep leaves us feeling tired all the time. At worse we suffer serious heart conditions that are life threatening.
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There are several conditions that can compromise our sleep. One of the most common is mouth breathing. Our bodies are designed to breathing through the nose. We can breathe through the mouth, but we suffer for this. Mouth breathing deprives us of Nitric Oxide, which we need for cognitive functions and blood circulation. Mouth breathing also leads to a dry mouth, leaving our teeth and gums prone to bacteria build up. Our teeth decay and our gums become inflected if we continue with mouth breathing.
Some individuals who habitually breathe through the mouth can benefit from a custom dental mouth-guard. This hols the jaw in the correct position for comfortable nasal breathing. Some patients benefit from a nasal strip, which helps to hold the nostrils open,and make nose breathing easier.
Sleeping position may affect breathing. If we can move our head back we may find nose breathing to be easier.
Occasionally a patient may require surgery to fix a more severe breathing issue.

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More severe sleep breathing issues may require a CPAP breathing machine. This consists of a breathing mask that fits over the face and machine to provide warm pressurized air. This is a more extreme method used for more severe breathing problems. Some of these cases are life threatening.
While CPAP breathing machines are primarily used for respiratory issues a side benefit is the improved dental health. The warm moist air forced through the nose keep the mouth healthier, reducing decay and risk of gum disease.

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If you have night breathing problems, if you family complain that you snore, then talk to the dentist. Sometime the solution is fairly easy.

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