According to researchers, people with receding lower jaws are more likely to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep apnoea is a condition which is characterised by collapse of the tissues at the back of the throat during sleep, impeding the free flow of air into and out of the lungs. Often, it is accompanied by snoring and the person actually stops breathing many times in the night. Lack of oxygen to tissues raises the risk of heart disease and stroke in the long term.
Now Japanese investigators have found that obesity and certain facial characteristics make sleep-disordered breathing more likely, by causing collapse of the tissue at the back of the throat. They studied 50 patients with the breathing problem and 20 without. Those with a receding lower jaw and a long lower face were more likely to have the problem, especially if they were also overweight. Hence by looking at a facial outline one could diagnose or predict breathing problems.