we breathe different than ancestors

How we Breathe differently than our Ancestors

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we breathe different than ancestorsErie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Most of us don’t pay any thought to breathing. It happens without thinking about it. It isn’t until our breathing becomes hindered by a cold or allergies do we stop to appreciate being able to breathe so freely and effortlessly. But, did you know that we don’t breathe as freely as our ancestors did?

While certain environmental factors have impacted how we have evolved, it is possible that you adapted to poor oral habits such as mouth breathing at such an early age that you don’t even realize that you aren’t breathing as freely as you could. Other factors that affect how we, as a society, have evolved in our breathing habits have a lot to do with eating a diet of softer foods, breastfeeding less often, and crooked teeth. 

As medical professionals, we are at the forefront of discovering the impact that disordered breathing has on the body. Studies have linked disordered breathing to many comorbidities such as Alzheimer’s, systemic inflammation, and heart disease.

Erie, PA, area dentist at Laser Dentistry of Erie wants to explore disordered breathing, and help you determine if you are at risk.

Disordered breathing involves mouth breathing, obstructive sleep apnea, or a narrow airway. Many of these issues develop early in life, even infancy. Our Western diet of softer foods, compared to what our ancestors ate, doesn’t work the mastication or chewing muscles as well, which also can result in a narrow upper palate and airway. Breastfeeding isn’t as common as it once was, which means babies who aren’t breastfed tend to develop a narrow upper dental arch, which in turn results in a narrow airway. Furthermore, chronic mouth breathing is a detriment to one’s health since less oxygen reaches the lungs and blood supply. These are just a few of the most common culprits of disordered breathing.

Now, let’s take a look at common signs that may indicate a person has disordered breathing. Ask yourself these questions, and if you answer yes to any of them, you should contact Laser Dentistry of Erie for an airway evaluation. Ignoring this condition will only make matters worse, including your health.

  • Do you breathe through your mouth?
  • Do you suffer from allergies?
  • Have you had any tooth extractions? (This often is done before orthodontic treatment)
  • Do you feel tired even when it seems that you have slept enough hours?
  • Did you wear braces as a teenager?
  • Did you wear headgear as a teenager?
  • Did you develop frequent sinus infections when you were younger?
  • Do you snore while sleeping?
  • Do the sides of your tongue appear scalloped?
  • Have you experienced high blood pressure, cold hands/feet, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, bruxism (teeth clenching/grinding), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or TMJ disorder?

Many people think they feel just fine, and wouldn’t question whether they are getting enough air. After all, they are still breathing, right? Well, we are here to tell you that just because you are breathing doesn’t mean you are living your healthiest life possible! Disordered breathing can lead to many other health issues, even death. It is never too late to receive an assessment and receive treatment that can help you live a healthy life!

Airway Evaluation in Erie

To learn more about disordered breathing or to schedule a consultation, please contact Laser Dentistry of Erie at (814) 825-2615. We are proud to serve the oral health needs of our patients in the areas of Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek, PA.