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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The Secrets About Halitosis

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Wendy Parker, RDH

The Secrets About Halitosis

Before we even start trading secrets, what is Halitosis?  Halitosis is the fancy word for “Bad Breath.”  We’ve all had it at one point or another.  Whether that is morning breath, when we’ve forgotten to brush, or when we’ve eaten something with a strong taste.  Whether temporary or permanent, bad breath comes to everyone.  So let’s talk about the secrets of where it comes from, why we get it, and most importantly, how to get rid of it!

halitosis 1

Bad breath can come from several sources.  Here’s a list of some of the most common ones:

  • Tooth decay or / and gum disease such as gingivitis
  • Dentures and bridges
  • Mouth sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Post-nasal drip and congestion of the nasal passages
  • Food stuck between the teeth
  • Coating of the tongue caused by a build up of bacteria
  • Infection of the throat and tonsils
  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Acid reflux and GERD
  • Chronic constipation
  • Digestive problems and stomach ulcers
  • High-protein diet that includes fish, cheeses, and meats
  • Foods that are strong smelling or spicy such as onions and garlic, exotic spices (ie. curry)
  • Supplements, such as Fish Oil Capsules
  • Low Carb Diets – causing “Ketone breath” as a result of the low carb consumption causing the body to burn fat as it’s energy source which then causes an end product of the body making ketones, which causes a fruity acetone-like odor when exhaled
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
One of the most common reasons people have halitosis is due to a condition called “Black Hairy Tongue” or a coated tongue.  It sounds scary and unusual, but it’s something that can be cured quickly.
halitosis 2

The bacteria build up on tiny rounded projections called papillae which are on the surface of the tongue, also known as tastebuds. These papillae grown longer catch all the food and bacteria in the mouth.  Without brushing your tongue or removing the bacteria, it can embed in the tongue and causing a coating.  Black hairy tongue is caused by bacteria or fungi in the mouth, which make the tongue to appear black and hairy.

Certain lifestyle habits and conditions can make people more likely to develop black hairy tongue. They include:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking tobacco
  • drinking a lot of coffee or tea
  • using antibiotics (which may disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the mouth)
  • being dehydrated
  • taking medications that contain the chemical Bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol for upset stomach)
  • not producing enough saliva
  • regularly using mouthwash that contains peroxide, witch hazel, or menthol
  • getting radiation therapy to the head and neck

Black hairy tongue is more common in men, people who use intravenous drugs, and those who are HIV-positive.

Now that we learned about Halitosis and Black Hairy Tongue, here are tips and tricks to getting rid of it:

Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush, but more importantly, don’t forget your tongue!!! Start at the back of your tongue and scrape forward, being sure not to scrub the tongue and embed the bacteria even further.   You can use a tongue scraper to make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning the area. Be sure to come in for your regular check up and cleanings so that your friendly hygienist can help you too!  Soon, the coating will go away and so will the bad breath.

halitosis 3

If you find that you have consistent bad breath you can try our other tips:

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Add more roughage to your diet. Soft foods won’t clean off the tongue effectively.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your mouth clean.

Natural home remedies include:

  • Fenugreek should be consumed in the form of a tea made with one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in one liter of water. Simmer till the water is infused and strain before drinking. When consumed regularly, fenugreek seeds are an excellent home remedy for halitosis.
  • Making a tea or infusion with fresh parsley or cloves is also a good way to treat bad breath. Simply boil water with freshly chopped parsley and drop in a few cloves to the mix. Cool the mixture and strain before using it as a natural mouthwash after eating. There have been numerous studies supporting claims about the efficacy of cloves and clove oil in dental care.
  • include fresh vegetables, fruits and grains into your daily diet.
  • increase your intake of Vitamin C from foods
  • include guava in your diet

An individual should consult their physician for a diagnosis if they have

  • persistent dry mouth
  • sores in the mouth
  • pain with chewing or swallowing
  • white spots on the tonsils
  • Fever
  • any other symptoms of concern

Call your doctor or dentist if the problem doesn’t get better on its own. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or an antifungal drug to get rid of the bacteria or yeast. Topical medications, such as tretinoin (Retin-A), are also sometimes prescribed. As a last resort, if the problem doesn’t improve, the papillae can be surgically clipped off with a laser or electrosurgery.

Hopefully this let you in on some of our secrets to a happy healthy mouth!  Happy brushing and breathing everyone!

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.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/black-hairy-tongue

http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Halitosis.html

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bad_breath_halitosis/page4_em.htm

Mouth Breathing

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Julie West BS RDH

Parents take heed; if your child breathes through his mouth instead of his nose, he can have more problems than bad breath!

     Mouth-breathing contributes to: sleep disorders, changes in posture, jaw deformity, lowered immune function, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Mouth-breathing causes the jaws to grow in an altered fashion, resulting in long faces, tooth crowding, and an altered head posture. The lower jaw remains too far behind in its growth, producing a small chin, an abnormal bite, and a distorted profile.

Sleep disorders can be caused by the lower jaw and tongue being positioned too far back, constricting the upper airway.  Enlarged tonsils and adenoids due to chronic allergies may also constrict the airway to such an extent that normal nasal breathing becomes impossible.

Nasal breathing produces a hormone that regulates normal blood circulation. It also filters, warms and moisturizes the air. The lack of oxygen in mouth breathers, who usually snore at night and struggle for air, weakens the immune system, disrupts deep sleep cycles, and interferes with growth hormone production.  Children may be fatigued and less attentive in school due to this disruption in sleep.

Saliva helps to naturally cleanse the tissues of the mouth.  Salivary flow is disrupted by mouth-breathing, leaving a dry environment that irritates tissues and leaves them susceptible to infection such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, as well as contributing to bad breath.

If you notice that your child breathes through his mouth, you can get help before these problems arise.

     Typical treatment options include myofunctional therapy to help retrain your child to breathe through their nose and the use of orthodontic appliances to help move the lower jaw forward.   The earlier mouth-breathing is addressed, the better the outcomes of treatment will be.

Below is a picture of a patient before and after treatment for mouth-breathing.

http://mcgannfacialdesign.com/before-after/

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/OMD.htm