Other Conditions

Dental considerations


There is an increasing awareness in the dental profession of the importance of correct breathing.


Specifically for children...Learn to Breathe Correctly through 
the nose with Buteyko and:


  • put your tongue in the roof of your mouth

  • develop your jaws properly

  • make room for your teeth

  • reduce nasal congestion and sinusitis

  • improve your sleep quality

  • reduce snoring and sleep apnoea

  • decrease the need for nightly toilet visits

  • decrease asthma symptoms & need for medication

  • increase stamina and energy levels


Mouth Breathing and Dental Problems in general


Chronic mouth breathing has long been seen as a concern by dentists and orthodontists. Some of the problems it causes or contributes to are listed below:


  • Forward head posture (neck muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue and cervical joint damage)

  • Headache

  • Elongated face

  • Malocclusion, anterior open bite

  • TMJ dysfunction

  • Gum disease

  • Reduced dental arch space ˆ increased crowding of teeth

  • Dental decay and infection

  • Dry mouth and throat

  • Increased allergen/infection entry to lungs

  • Chronic tonsil swelling

  • Enlarged adenoids, polyps

  • Noisy breathing

  • Noisy eating

  • Bad breath

  • Snoring, apnoea

  • Greater potential for relapse of orthodontic correction

  • Increased mucus production

  • Hypocapnia


By learning to correct breathing patterns with Buteyko, an individual can prevent many of these problems occurring and in some cases they can begin to be reversed (age dependent).


Blocked Nose


Having a partly or fully blocked nose is a common problem for people about to undertake a Buteyko course. It is also one of the earliest symptoms to respond to the breathing exercises with the majority of people leaving the first course session breathing through their nose, some of them for the first time in years. Initially the nose will continue to bock,. But once the breathing pattern is fully corrected the nose rarely blocks.

Sinusitis/Hay fever/ Rhinitis/Nasal Polyps/Allergies
Smoke, perfume, grasses, pollens, dust mites, cats, dogs, horses, feathers, cleaning products, certain foods, infections and many other things can all trigger the above conditions. 
In people who over-breathe and therefore have lower alveolar CO2 levels, the immune system is compromised leading to hypersensitivity to allergens, and an over reaction to these normally harmless substances. Correcting breathing patterns will lead to an improved immune system and an improvement in these conditions. Even people with severe allergies who have been unable to nose breathe for years can be helped.




In addition the skin condition eczema, often experienced in conjunction with allergy and asthma, will also respond to correcting breathing patterns with the Buteyko Institute Method


Panic and Anxiety Conditions


When a person becomes anxious or starts to panic, the pulse rate increases, the palms of the hands may become sweaty, muscles tense and the mind and emotions become singularly focussed on the anxiety-causing event or situation. Another physiological change in the body at this time is an increase in the rate and depth of breathing. We go into what is referred to as the ‘Fight or Flight’ state. This is a normal response to stress.

In a person with a normal anxiety response, once the anxiety-causing event has passed the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems return the body to normal physiological baselines.

If a chronic state of hyperventilation exists (that is, the person breathes more than the physiologically required 4-5 litres per minute all or much of the time) then this will trigger changes in the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems producing a chronic state of anxiety. The person will feel as if they are permanently in a state of ‘Fight or Flight’ and have a permanently elevated level of anxiety.

Hyperventilation and anxiety form a ‘vicious circle’, one leading to the other. The process may be ‘pushed’ or initiated from either end. One person may experience anxiety which then leads to hyperventilation, another person may hyperventilate leading to feelings of rising anxiety and/or panic. One feeds the other in an increasing spiral.

The Buteyko Institute Method program stops this vicious circle by teaching people how to correct hyperventilation bringing breathing rates back to normal and thereby reducing the resultant anxiety and panic. Once their breathing is back to a normal level they no longer have to live constantly in the ‘Fight or Flight’ state. Their body is able to return to normal after cessation of the anxiety-causing event.

Hyperventilation and anxiety form a ‘vicious circle’, one leading to the other. The process may be ‘pushed’ or initiated from either end. In one person they will experience anxiety which then leads to hyperventilation, another person will hyperventilate leading to feelings of rising anxiety and/or panic. One feeds the other in an increasing spiral.

Once people have mastered the breathing techniques introduced in the first few days of the course, other exercises are then taught which are to be specifically used in situations of, or which may sometimes lead to, panic or anxiety. By end of the Buteyko course people have the knowledge and skills to recognise the early signs of panic and anxiety, and are in a position to reverse the onset of hyperventilation and the associated panic and anxiety. These specific exercises also have application for insomnia and other sleep problems.


Emphysema / COAD / COPD


Emphysema is a condition in which damage has occurred to the alveoli or lung tissue. Emphysema is often referred to as COAD (Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease) or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) The more severe the condition the more damage to the lungs that ahs occurred. The alveoli (or air sacs) of which there are over 300 million in each person, lose their tone and can no longer work efficiently. This results in a smaller surface area for the gas exchange to occur. 
The typical symptoms of emphysema are breathlessness, noise or wheezy breathing, fatigue on activity, inability to exercise without severe breathlessness. This I due to the inefficient oxygen exchange. It is normally assumed that the damage to the lungs makes improvement with the condition unlikely, but by learning to breathe correctly with Buteyko it is possible to significantly improve the oxygen exchange despite the existing damage.

Breathlessness, or shortness of breath, is a common symptom experienced by many people. People therefore often think they must not be breathing deeply enough; that somehow the tightness around our chest is restricting the breathing and making it too shallow…making us breathless.

Breathlessness is principally an outcome of poor oxygen exchange. Most people, understandably, assume that they require a greater volume of air to reach the lungs to bring more oxygen in. Paradoxically, the greater volume of air that is pushed in and out of the lungs the less oxygen will be available for use by our tissue cells. This is the Bohr Effect. By reducing breathing volumes to the physiologically normal of 4-5 litres per minute, the alveolar CO2 level is raised and thus results in a greater amount of oxygen being released from the blood to the cells. 

Deep breathing does not deliver greater amounts of oxygen to our bodies, on the contrary, it delivers less. Deep breathing at rest results in dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, and eventually fainting. The Buteyko Institute Method program improves symptoms of breathlessness by normalising the volume of air breathed, maximising oxygen exchange. 
People who attend the Buteyko course for Emphysema/ COAD/COPD typically experience a reduction in use of reliever medication, increased mobility, less breathlessness and a reduction in mucous and coughing.