Mouth Breathing

Wendy Parker, RDH

Mouth Breathing

          Many people believe that mouth breathing isn’t that big of a deal, it’s just the way they have learned to breathe.  But after years of study and research, mouth breathing have been linked to several other conditions as well.

Mouth breathing usually occurs due to 5 factors:

  1. Allergies
  2. Thumb or finger sucking habit
  3. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  4. Chronic nasal congestion
  5. Respiratory infection

These factors make it physically challenging for someone to breath through their nose, so the natural reaction is to start breathing through their mouth.  Mouth breathing can cause a few things to happen in the mouth: it can change the way your shape of your face, you can develop a tongue thrust affecting your speech, swallowing and breathing, you can develop gingivitis or gum disease and gums will bleed easily, sore throats, halitosis (bad breath), poor sleep or sleep apnea, and digestive disturbances (upset stomach, acid reflux, etc.) Mouth breathing stops our bodies from getting good oxygenated blood to the circulation system and can affect the whole body.

It’s not easy to just change the way you breathe.  You have to retrain your brain and muscles to breathe normally again.  A myofunctional therapist can be valuable by giving you tactics to retrain your muscles associated with mouth breathing.  You can also have your tonsils evaluated to see if they need to be removed or see an orthodontist to evaluated your bite and if the teeth are obstructing you from closing properly.  Or you may try a humidifier at night or rub vitamin E oil or vasoline over the gums before bedtime to help them from drying out.

Hopefully you can find some relief from this condition!  If you need more tips or tricks, don’t be afraid to ask your lovely hygienist or dentist at your next appointment!

 

Sources:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/mouth-breather/

http://www.myfaceology.com/2012/02/mouth-breathing-and-how-it-affects-your-health/

http://ic.steadyhealth.com/problems-of-mouth-breathing

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Are You a Mouth Breather?

KatieM

Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

Are You a Mouth Breather?

Breathing out of your mouth may not seem like a huge problem, but in terms of oral health and facial development, mouth breathing can create numerous oral health concerns. Chronic mouth breathing occurs when your body cannot get enough oxygen through your nose, therefore, must resort to your mouth for the necessary oxygen supply. It can be caused by several different factors – obstructive, habitual, and anatomic conditions. In most cases, mouth breathing is caused by chronic nasal obstruction. Examples of this include enlarged tonsils, allergies, nasal congestion, asthma, and nasal polyps. It may also be caused just by habit. A person might not even know any better because it is the norm for them to breathe through their mouth. Some anatomic conditions that can cause mouth breathing include Down syndrome, malocclusion, tongue thrusting, cerebral palsy, and sleep apnea. Each of these conditions contribute to the deprivation of oxygen which can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of mouth breathing in dentistry include:

  • dry lips and mouth
  • decreased saliva
  • inflamed and bleeding gums
  • increased plaque
  • frequent cavities
  • chronic bad breath
  • swollen tonsils/adenoids

Mouth breathing has been known to cause developmental problems in children. Often times children breathe through their mouth habitually and many parents never think twice about it. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, it may lead to permanent skeletal deformities. The face can begin to grow long and narrow, the nose can become flat with small nostrils, and the lips can be thin on top and quite pouty on the bottom. This, in addition to the other negative effects to oral health, shows that mouth breathing is a whole body problem and should be treated as early as possible.

 

Yes, you read that right, mouth breathing can be treated! You would think that it would be an easy habit to change – just close your mouth, right? Unfortunately, for people who struggle with mouth breathing, it’s not that easy. The body simply doesn’t know how to breathe normally, and the muscles of the face and mouth have compensated and learned to work incorrectly. In order to stop mouth breathing, the muscles must be re-trained to function in new ways. Treatment includes respiratory exercises, lifestyle changes, and in some cases medical surgeries and devices. If you feel as though your mouth breathing is occurring more than normal, please consult with your dental or health care professional to determine the cause and treatment needed to correct your chronic mouth breathing.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.myfaceology.com/mouth-breathing/

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=m&iid=296&aid=7327

http://besthealthus.com/conditions/oral-health/mouth-breather/