Airway-Centered Dentistry - Helping You Breathe Easier & Be Healthier

Dr. Ian Gray Dental Group Focuses on Airway Health for Adults and Children

Did you know that many oral health concerns and other health problems stem from improper airway development or airway obstruction?

Your airway is responsible for delivering oxygen to your blood, which you need to keep all your organs healthy and functioning properly. If your airway is not well developed or compromised in some way, it can have serious consequences for your overall health.

  • Improves Sleep Quality
  • Reduces or Eliminates Facial Pain
  • Improves Dental Health
  • Eliminates Sleep-Disordered Breathing
  • Promotes Proper Facial Development in Kids
  • Eliminates Mouth Breathing
  • Reduces or Eliminates Snoring
  • Benefits Long-Term Health and Wellbeing
  • Reduces or Eliminates TMD Symptoms

Problems Associated with an Unhealthy Airway

Mouth Breathing – Your nose is meant for breathing. Your mouth is not. However, if your airway is not healthy, your body compensates by forcing you to breathe through your mouth. This is a problem because your nose has special mechanisms to filter the air you take in, removing microscopic contaminants that your mouth does not. Additionally, your nasal passages connect to your sinuses, which are a crucial part of the breathing process. When you bypass your sinuses by breathing through your mouth, the air you breathe in is not as moist, rich, or clean. Additionally, mouth breathing causes the soft tissues inside your mouth to dry out, making it much more possible for bacteria to cause infection. A dry mouth also means no saliva, which is essential for fighting off plaque-causing bacteria. Adults and children who breathe mainly through their mouths often develop chronic sinus problems, suffer from upper respiratory infections more frequently, experience tooth decay to a higher degree, and develop gum disease at a higher rate.

Sleep-Disordered Breathing – If your airway does not develop to its fullest potential during childhood, as an adult, you will most likely have trouble maintaining proper airflow while you sleep. Your airway may be too narrow or restricted in some way, which may result in mouth breathing, loud snoring, frequent waking, and, in the worst cases, obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which you actually stop breathing for several seconds frequently during the night. All of these conditions will diminish the quality of your sleep, with OSA being the worst. When your sleep quality suffers, your quality of life suffers as well. OSA is directly linked to a higher risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Did you know your nose is a filter? – As Dr. Ian Gray always says, breathing through your nose is healthier for your body than breathing through your mouth. In this video, he explains a little more using a real-world example. Breathing through your nose filters and cleans the air before it enters your lungs. Your mouth does not have any mechanisms to do that. Learn more about it in the book Breath by James Nestor, and visit to request an airway assessment and consultation.

Breathing & Brain Development: A Crucial Connection for Children – Oxygen is essential for life. Everyone knows that. But have you ever considered the effect a compromised or underdeveloped airway can have on brain development in children? Of course, Dr. Ian Gray has. Airway development is crucial to many other essential body functions, including brain development. If you have little ones, give them the best chance for success with an airway assessment. Visit to learn more.

TMJ Disorders – Your jaw health is directly related to your airway health. If your airway is not large enough, your jaw will be affected, causing it to develop improperly and resulting in extra stress on your temporomandibular joint. You may develop TMD symptoms, including frequent headaches, jaw tension, facial pain, ear pain, neck pain, tingling in your fingers, and difficulty chewing.

What is Airway-Centered Dentistry?

Traditional dentistry focuses mainly on your teeth and gums. Airway-Centered Dentistry takes it several steps further, seeking to open up, optimize, and protect the airway to improve your oral and overall health.

Using orthodontics, dental procedures, and oral appliances, Airway-Centered Dentistry is a more comprehensive approach to oral health, taking into account the importance of a healthy airway for your entire body.

Airway-Centered Dentistry can improve your quality of life!

Opening up your airway can reduce or even eliminate symptoms of OSA, TMD, and many oral diseases. Your dental health will improve, and your overall health will as well. A healthy airway lowers your risk of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Children Need a Healthy Airway

Airway health is important for adults and children. Young, developing children especially can benefit from interventions to help their facial anatomy develop properly and prevent potential breathing problems during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Early intervention can prevent the need for braces down the road and reduce your child’s risk of developing other health problems, like allergies and asthma.

For more information about airway health and how airway-centered dentistry can benefit you or your child, call our office today.