Orthognathic Surgery for Breathing Problems
When your teeth and jaws do not align properly, you can be faced with a multitude of different issues. Some of the more commonly known issues caused by misalignment include a less aesthetically pleasing smile, an increased risk for oral health issues like cavities and tooth decay, and an increased risk for excessive tooth wear and tooth damage. Poor alignment can also affect your breathing. At Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center, we can help to improve the alignment of your teeth and jaws and improve your breathing, with orthognathic surgery.
How Alignment Affects Breathing
Poor alignment or other deformities in your jaw can cause several issues, including affecting your breathing. When the jaw is too small, your airway passages can become obstructed. This can hinder physical activity because you are not able to breathe properly when you exert yourself.
Obstructions in your airways can also cause sleep-related issues. You may snore while you sleep. You might not even be aware of it unless someone else tells you. You may also be faced with sleep apnea. This is a condition in which your breathing is stopped completely. When this happens, your brain partially wakes you up. This means that you may not even know that it is happening. Every time you wake up, your body has to restart its sleep cycles all over again. These events, called apneic events, also occur several times during the night. Because of this, you are not able to complete your sleep cycles. Your body cannot properly rest and repair, leaving you feeling exhausted the next morning.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery, also called corrective jaw surgery or jaw surgery, is a procedure that is performed to improve the alignment of your teeth and jaws. This procedure can be used to treat a wide variety of minor and major skeletal and dental deformities. This includes the misalignment of your teeth and jaws. While the procedure is performed to improve functional problems, it can also help to greatly improve the quality of your smile and your facial aesthetics as well.
Improving Breathing with Orthognathic Surgery
There are a few different orthognathic surgery procedures that may be performed to improve tooth and jaw alignment and improve your breathing. Procedures include:
||Mandibular distraction osteogenesis. This is a procedure performed when the jaw is too small. A cut is made in the mandible, and an expansion device is secured into place with surgical screws. This procedure is often performed on younger patients, as their jaws are still growing and developing.
||Maxillomandibular advancement. This is a procedure in which both your upper and lower jaws are moved forward. By moving the jaws forward, your tongue, soft palate, and other oral tissues are also moved forward. When this happens, the tissues are prevented from falling into your airway. This prevents the airway from becoming blocked, which then helps to prevent sleep apnea. This procedure may be combined with other treatments, or it may be used as a standalone option. In some cases, only one of the jaws, either the mandible or the maxilla, will need to be moved.
In addition to improving breathing, orthognathic surgery provides several other significant benefits. It can help to improve your oral health, your overall health, your smile, your facial appearance, and your quality of life. Call Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center today at 925-290-7727 for more information and to find out if orthognathic surgery is right for you.