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32241 Crown Valley Parkway #200
Dana Point, CA 92629 | Directions

Breathing physiologist explains differences between normal breathing and overbreathing

Dr. Mark Cruz of Dana Point co-developed the "Multi-Disciplinary Airway Collaborative" to provide a forum for doctors of various disciplines to share research and information about the human airway and facial development. The real-time conversations are recorded and available on Dr. Cruz's website at http://www.learnairwaydentistry.com/spreecast-videos.html. In Episode 30, he invites Tess Graham, noted breathing physiologist and author, to preview her book, "Relief from Snoring and Sleep Apnoea."

According to the breathing physiologist, people eat more, weigh more, and breathe in more air than they did in the 1980s. On average, people are breathing enough air for two to three people. They may overbreathe by using their mouth versus the nose to breathe, breathe too heavily per breath, breathe too rapidly, or interrupt breathing with sighing, clearing the throat, yawning, or coughing. Overbreathing is linked to chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, panic disorder, epilepsy, and obstructive sleep apnea. The mouth breathing habit has a strong correlation with narrow facial structure, crowded teeth, crooked teeth, open bite, gingivitis, dental decay, orofacial muscle dysfunction, aberrant swallow, TMD, and bruxism.

Understanding the difference between normal and dysfunctional breathing

People should only breathe 8 to 10 times a minute; however, the average person breathes 17 times a minute, according to Graham. The breathing rate rises when sleeping, but the volume of air intake should decrease. In contrast, dysfunctional breathing can be noisy, irregular, chaotic, and involve sighing, yawning, and coughing. When a person takes more than 14 breaths per minute, it is potentially a case of overbreathing. Stress, inflammatory diet, and a mouth breathing habit can cause overbreathing. Multiple factors can disturb breathing including stress, coughing, crying, overheating, overeating, poor diet, illness or infection, slumped posture, and a mouth breathing habit.

Considering healthier breathing habits

Nine habits can help improve breathing, according to Graham:
  • Awareness
  • Nose breathing
  • Upright posture
  • Regular breathing
  • Diaphragm breathing
  • Eight to12 breaths per minute
  • Silent invisible breathing
  • Breathing control during speech and singing
  • Breathing well during exercise

Seeking treatment

Do you think you may be suffering from a breathing problem? If so, do not delay treatment. Call (949) 661-1006 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz.

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Mark A Cruz DDS
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I've been going to Dr. Cruz for 21 years... you wont find a dentist, or someone from ANY profession for that matter, who has a higher level of attention to detail.

Thank you Dr. Cruz for being awesome!


Dentist Serving Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Laguna Beach,
Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, San Juan &
South Orange County
since 1986