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How does malocclusion cause respiratory disorders?

Malocclusion is a problem that affects a large part of the population. The severity of this condition varies, but it can have multiple consequences. For example, it can negatively affect chewing, speech and self-esteem.

Did you know that malocclusion can also cause respiratory disorders?

Find out why.

Malocclusion can contribute to airway obstruction

Malocclusion cannot be considered the main cause of respiratory disorders such as sleep apnea, but it can definitely contribute to their development.

Malocclusion is often caused by misalignment of the jaw. This then affects the positioning of the tongue in the mouth, which can sometimes cause partial airway obstruction in the supine position.

Some types of malocclusion are more likely to lead to respiratory disorders. Here are some of the main types of malocclusion.

Mandibular retrognathia

This type of malocclusion involves a short and receding mandible, narrow jaw and receding chin. This leaves little space for the tongue, which is then pushed towards the back of the mouth. Breathing can therefore become more difficult.

Anterior crossbite

Anterior crossbite is characterized by the absence of vertical contact of the teeth located at the front of the mouth. The upper jaw is often underdeveloped and therefore narrow. This forces the tongue to be positioned between the teeth rather than moving to the rear when in the prone position. Anterior crossbite is often associated with labial incompetence (difficulty touching the lips together in the resting position).

Mandibular prognathism

Mandibular prognathism occurs when the mandible is too forward and/or the maxilla is narrow and receding. The tongue therefore has less space to rest against the palate. An upper jaw that has insufficient forward growth may also play a role in sleep apnea since the soft palate can cause an obstruction in the supine position.

How to treat malocclusion to limit respiratory disorder

Although orthodontic treatments are often used to correct tooth alignment, the best way to correct malocclusion is with orthognathic surgery.  This procedure is often performed on patients who suffer from respiratory disorders resulting from any jaw deformity.

This surgery is done under anesthesia and often requires a short hospitalisation but does not leave any scarring on the face.

Visit a maxillofacial surgeon to reduce the effects of malocclusion

In conclusion, malocclusion caused by a misalignment of the jaw can affect the position of the tongue in the mouth. This can sometimes lead to certain respiratory problems, such as sleep apnea.

The most effective way of treating malocclusion is with orthognathic surgery performed by a maxillofacial surgeon with the help of an orthodontist to align the teeth.

Do you suffer from a respiratory disorder caused by dental malocclusion? At Clinique Evoro, our experts can professionally treat you so you can regain a better quality of life.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Gatineau clinic.