When are breathing assessments needed?
When we are treating dysfunctional sleep and breathing disorders (including snoring, sleep apnoea and mouth breathing) we look at how dental issues are affecting the airway, relating to the lower jaw ‘bite’ and narrowed upper jaw.
If we find other areas of concern affecting the airway we may recommend a breathing assessment by a breathing specialist. The breathing assessment helps to pinpoint:
- the underlying cause(s) of the issue and
- what treatment steps are likely to be most appropriate.
The breathing assessment looks at:
1. The breathing itself
- Testing the lung function
- Testing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels with capnometry and oxymetry
- Assessing breathing patterns, assessing heart rate variability and breath holding time
- Documentation of existing dysfunctional breathing (eg asthma) and sleep issues such as snoring and sleep apnoea, using questionnaires.
2. The facial structures
- Where the tongue sits at rest and how it moves during speech and swallowing
- The lips: whether the muscles are operating properly to keep the mouth closed
- The nose and nasal passages
3. Musculoskeletal imbalances
- Postural issues that may be affecting the breathing
4. General health and medical history
- Identifying possible causes of posture, breathing and airway problems
We work closely with Dr Rosalba Courtney DO PhD, who is very experienced in this field. She offers a range of breathing assessment services, body and breathing therapies and breathing retraining. Other practitioners may also be involved as needed, for example Allergy testing.