Breathe Easier With Orthodontics

Our orthodontic approach at Capps Orthodontics includes airway treatments. While we want to align your teeth, we also aim to enhance your airway, letting you breathe easier and live better.

Orthodontics & Respiration

The importance of breathing in maintaining a healthy life cannot be overstated, making airway-focused treatment essential. Modern medical insights have highlighted the crucial connection between the airway and overall bodily health.

At Capps Orthodontics, we prioritize the health of your airway in our treatment planning, ensuring you receive the most beneficial outcomes.


Understanding Your Airway

Your airway has two important components:

  • The nasal airway: This crucial airway allows air to flow through your nose. It’s encompassed by hard tissues such as nasal cartilage, nasal bones, and the nose floor.
  • The pharyngeal airway: This passageway serves as the conduit for air to travel down your throat into your lungs. This ariway is lined with soft tissues, including your tongue's rear surface and the back of your throat.

How Are Sleep & Breathing Connected?

You might question the relevance of sleep quality in discussions about breathing. The reason lies in the vulnerability of your airways during sleep.

When you sleep, muscle tone decreases, so when you’re lying down, your airway is more prone to closure under gravity. This can disrupt your sleep and prevent the restful, recharging slumber you need.

Since your muscles are most relaxed during sleep, healthy breathing patterns at this time are a good indicator of effective breathing while awake.

What About Snoring?

Contrary to common misconceptions, snoring is not a regular occurrence but a sign of a compromised airway. The snoring sound is produced when the airway collapses during sleep.

Snoring indicates that your brain is not receiving the necessary oxygen to function optimally and achieve complete rest. Therefore, issues with improper breathing are significant health concerns that warrant proper treatment.

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How to Breathe

While you can breathe through both your mouth and your nose, nasal breathing is the optimal method as it offers a range for health benefits.

For example, nasal breathing keeps your tongue in its correct resting position against the roof of your mouth. This promotes healthy oral development, including a more favorable shape of your mouth’s roof and your nose’s floor.

The increased resistance in nasal breathing also encourages deeper breaths, leading to greater oxygen intake and distribution. Because your nasal hairs enhance air filtration, these deeper breaths arrive to your lungs cleaner than when you mouth breathe.

When you breathe through your nose, your body is better at mixing nitric oxide with the air to enhance your lungs’ capacity to absorb oxygen.

What’s So Bad About Mouth Breathing?

Mouth breathing, as opposed to healthier nasal breathing, can lead to several direct and indirect health issues.

If you breathe through your mouth, you’re taking in unfiltered air. Unfiltered air reduces your oxygen absorption due to the absence of nitric oxide.

Shallow breathing leads to less oxygen in your body and possibly underdeveloped upper jaw bones. Chronic mouth breathing can significantly impact your brain oxygenation as well.

The possible consequences? You might struggle with:

  • Constant lethargy
  • Symptoms similar to ADD or ADHD
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Increased risk of dental issues
  • Irritability, non-restorative sleep
  • Poor performance in school or work

These consequences highlight the importance of addressing mouth-breathing matters for your overall health and well-being.

Orthodontic Treatment for Your Airway

Let’s explore several common treatments Dr. Capps might perform to correct an airway problem.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

A rapid palatal expander (RPE) is attached to the upper first molars on both sides to widen a narrow palate. The expander is gradually enlarged by turning a screw joint.

Once the desired expansion is achieved, the appliance remains in place for four to six months, allowing the bone to solidify in the newly created space.

Regarding the timing for maxillary expansion, it's typically effective before the age of 12. Around this age, the mid-palatal suture fuses, turning the gap into solid bone. Post-fusion expansion is less effective due to the absence of a malleable point in the maxilla.

Microimplant-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expander (MARPE)

At Capps Orthodontics in Rockwall, we utilize the innovative Microimplant-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expander (MARPE) for effective upper jaw expansion in older children, adolescents, and adults.

This advanced technique involves anchoring the expander to the palate bone using microimplants, providing a stable and efficient method for widening the upper jaw. Ideal for patients with less malleable palatal sutures.

MARPE offers a minimally invasive, controlled approach to correcting crossbites and alleviating crowding. Dr. Capps skillfully employs this state-of-the-art technology to achieve precise, stable results in jaw alignment and overall dental health.

Oral Surgery

Oral surgery as an airway treatment refers to surgical procedures Dr. Capps uses to improve or correct conditions that obstruct or restrict the airway, enhancing a patient's ability to breathe more effectively.