Dysfunctional breathing is more common than you may think
Posted by Dr. Mark Cruz
"Airway Focused Dentistry Mini Residency," co-developed by Dr. Mark A Cruz of Dana Point, was created to advance research, education, and awareness of the important topic of apnea and other breathing disorders among the medical community. Dr. Litchfield spoke about dysfunctional breathing, including apnea, as well as many respiratory problems that occur during waking hours.
The importance of respiratory health
Two of the most important functions of breathing are intaking oxygen and expelling CO2. This process is regulated by the body’s oxygen delivery system, which is dependent on proper pH balance within the red blood cells. Changes in the frequency of breaths, or volume of air exchanged, can cause the body to expel more or less CO2 than normal. Either condition can cause a pH imbalance, ultimately reducing oxygen delivery.
Dr. Litchfield explained that dysfunctional breathing encompasses a broad spectrum of conditions, and it occurs more commonly than you may expect. He quoted startling statistics from several studies, including:
Approximately 60 percent of physiotherapy patients have some form of dysfunctional breathing.
About 90 percent of chronic pain patients experience dysfunctional breathing.
On average, six in ten ambulance runs in the United States result from acute symptoms of dysfunctional breathing.
Understanding dysfunctional breathing
This lecture focused on the behavioral, rather than medical, aspects of dysfunctional breathing. As Dr. Litchfield explained, any habit that compromises a person’s oxygen delivery is considered a dysfunctional habit. This can include changes in breathing that are associated with specific activities, triggered by stress, or even consciously performed.
Dysfunctional breathing habits can exacerbate existing medical conditions or lengthen symptoms. For example, they can trigger migraines in a person who is susceptible, or trigger a seizure in an epileptic person.
If you have questions about the "Airway Focused Dentistry Mini Residency" course, or would like a consultation with Dr. Cruz, call us (949) 661-1006