Do you stand up straight? Are your shoulders back? Head held high? Do you slouch over? Is your jaw in the right position? Are your teeth touching? You have probably heard some of these reminders about minding your posture, but you probably haven’t heard the ones about keeping your jaw in the right position and whether your teeth are touching. But, focusing on your oral rest posture is really important. Are you looking for a Kansas City sleep apnea dentist who can help you improve your jaw alignment and tooth positioning? Our skilled dentist can assess your posture and recommend treatments to address any sleep disordered issues. Don’t overlook the impact of your jaw and teeth on your overall posture and health.

First, What Is Oral Rest Posture?

Oral rest posture, also referred to as resting mouth position, is the medical term for the position of the tongue, lips and jaw when your mouth is at rest.

Perfect oral rest posture is when your tongue is entirely against the roof of your mouth and does not touch the back of your front upper teeth. Your teeth are also slightly apart, and your lips can close over your teeth without stretching.

Think about your resting oral posture for a minute. Don’t talk, chew or bite anything. Is what we described happening in your mouth?

If not, it’s time to give our Kansas City sleep apnea dentist Dr. Raman a call.

Why Does Oral Rest Posture Matter?

One reason oral rest posture is critical is that it necessitates breathing through your nose, which is ideal for optimal health. As air is inhaled through the nose, it is cleaned of the pollutants by the mucus, moisturized, warmed and given a dose of nitric oxide produced in the sinuses before it reaches the lungs. Nitric oxide kills bacteria and viruses as well as dilating the heart vessels. As the air is exhaled through the nose, there is some resistance to the flow, like when you slightly pinch the mouth of a full balloon as the air goes out. This is when oxygen exchange occurs best inside our lungs. All of those benefits of nasal breathing are lost when we breathe through the mouth.

Check Your Posture

If you are struggling to achieve the ideal oral posture we described above, you may have poor oral rest posture. Here are other signs to look out for:

  • Mouth breathing during sleep
  • Sleep apnea
  • Mouth breathing during rest
  • The tongue is pushing against your front teeth
  • The tongue protrudes between upper and lower teeth
  • Lower jaw is pushed forward
  • Malocclusion of the bite (underbite, overbite or crowded teeth)
  • Poor oral health: tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal or poor facial growth

How Your Sleep Apnea Dentist in Kansas City Can Improve Posture

If you suspect that you or your child has poor oral rest posture, call Dr. Raman to discuss treatment options such as myofunctional therapy. It is especially important to treat poor oral rest posture in children to reduce the risk of underdevelopment of the jaws, crowded teeth, impacted teeth, TMD, poor posture, and sleep breathing disorders including obstructive sleep apnea and its many health consequences later in life.

Call Dr. Raman today at (816) 436-4422 to schedule an evaluation for yourself or your child.