Your nasal septum separates your right and left nasal cavities thanks to a thin inner wall of bone and cartilage. Normally, your septum runs evenly between your nostrils, allowing each side equal breathing space.
However, if this wall is deviated, or crooked, one nostril has less space than the other. This can lead to breathing issues as well as dental problems.
Here at Palmieri Dentistry, Dr. Roberto Palmieri, accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, wants you to know that a deviated septum can increase your risk of breathing issues, dental problems, and even sleep apnea.
Below, we explain how a deviated septum impacts your oral health and what your options are for finding relief.
A deviated septum can impact your oral health in many ways, from increasing your risk of developing sleep apnea to increased tooth decay and oral infections.
A deviated septum can increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Studies show that nasal deformities (like deviated septums) can cause difficulty breathing through the nose as well as airway obstruction.
Additionally, deviated septums can lead to mouth breathing, and mouth breathing can lead to swollen tonsils. This type of airway obstruction can lead to upper airway resistance syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea.
Note that there are many causes of sleep apnea, including excess oral tissue, a small jaw, upper airway inflammation, sinus infections, or being overweight.
If you have any symptoms of sleep apnea, regardless of what’s causing it, don’t hesitate to reach out for treatment. Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of cardiac events and high blood pressure.
A deviated septum can also increase your risk of infection in your sinuses, which can easily spread to your mouth. With an oral yeast infection, you might spot white patches in your mouth.
Your saliva flushes out decay-causing bacteria, but unfortunately, mouth breathing as a result of a deviated septum dries out your mouth. A dry mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to wreak havoc.
There’s no denying that deviated septums cause both nasal and dental concerns, but what can you do about them? When you have a deviated septum, it’s important to address any issues that arise because of it.
Are you waking up feeling unrefreshed? Do you snore all night long? These are signs of sleep apnea. If Dr. Palmieri suspects you have sleep apnea, he may use the Planmeca® 3D X-ray machine to measure the volume of your upper airway.
Depending on his findings, he may recommend sleep apnea treatments such as a mandibular advancement device (like a mouthguard) or surgical maxillomandibular advancement.
Tooth decay can cause discomfort, sensitivity, and pain when chewing. Treating tooth decay with a filling (or a root canal and crown for severe cases) can halt the spread of decay and eliminate your symptoms.
Oral infections are treated with antifungals or antibiotics, depending on the type of infection.
Concerned about how a deviated septum is impacting your oral health? Call our Mooresville, North Carolina, office at 704-247-6336 or book your visit online.