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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Alfi

Mouth-Taping: Is This New Trend a True Solution?

Breathing is an essential process that provides oxygen to our body and allows us to function properly. However, the way we breathe, whether through the nose or mouth, can have a significant impact on our overall health, particularly our jaw development. Let's explore the effectiveness of jaw surgery and mouth-taping.

The impact of nose breathing on jaw development is amazing. Nose breathing allows the tongue to rest on the palate, which promotes the development of the maxilla and the alignment of the upper teeth. Nose breathing also promotes the proper development of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can reduce the risk of TMJ disorders. The importance of nose-breathing is becoming more widely known and one technique to train the body to nose-breathe during sleep is mouth-taping. But just how effective is it?

Mouth-taping involves placing a small piece of tape over the mouth before going to bed, which promotes nose breathing. Mouth-taping can be particularly beneficial for people who have a habit of mouth breathing during sleep. By promoting nose breathing, mouth-taping promotes breathing that filters, warms, and humidifies the air before it enters the lungs. But it may not correct the root of the problem.

One must first consider jaw development. The human jaw is a complex structure that consists of various bones, muscles, and joints. The development of the jaw starts from an early age and continues throughout childhood and adolescence. During this period, the jaw undergoes various changes, including the growth of the mandible and maxilla. This suggests that underdeveloped jaws, respiratory issues such as allergies play a huge factor in whether mouth-taping is a sufficient solution.

Mouth breathing doesn't just occur because of poor habits. People who suffer from respiratory conditions may have difficulty breathing through their nose at all. Deviations of the nasal structures can also obstruct nose breathing. And because mouth breathing can cause the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth, rather than on the palate, it can alter the growth of the upper-jaw making poor breathing a phenomenon of self-fulfillment. And, if someone's maxilla is underdeveloped or narrow, limiting oneself to nose breathing can promulgate health issues associated with poor oxygenation.

Yes, jaw surgery is a procedure used to correct various jaw deformities, such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite, but it can also be used to expand the airway. During jaw surgery, the surgeon repositions the jawbone to improve the alignment of the teeth and improve facial symmetry. Jaw surgery can have a significant impact on the shape of the jaw, even if the patient was a lifelong mouth breather. It can cure sleep apnea, and also promote nose breathing not by forcing the mouth shut, but by expanding the airway and creating much needed room in the nasal and palatal structure of the upper jaws, allowing air to pass via the nose with more ease and at a higher volume.

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