Dentist in Graham Explains the Dangers of Mouth Breathing

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mouth breathing treatment in Graham, NC

The human body takes care of breathing automatically, so we do it unconsciously to get the oxygen we need to survive. Unfortunately, we could be doing it inefficiently or improperly by engaging in mouth breathing, which could become a habit.

Mouth breathing has been associated with minor issues like drooling on pillows or waking up with dry mouths. However, it can lead to other complications that can affect your daily life. In this post, Dr. Rose, the #1 dentist in Graham, NC, answers your questions regarding mouth breathing and explains its dangers.

What Is Mouth Breathing?

Most healthcare professionals believe that we’re designed to take in air and release carbon dioxide through our nose – a process known as nose breathing. However, some people rely on breathing through their mouths and not their noses – known as mouth breathing. Some people may have medical conditions like colds or sleep apnea which cause them to breathe via their mouths, while others do it almost exclusively.

Occasional mouth breathing due to a cold or other temporary illnesses that block the nasal passages is not a cause for concern. However, chronic mouth breathing requires immediate medical interventions as it can cause serious health problems.

What Causes Mouth Breathing?

Various factors can cause mouth breathing. These includes:

  • Birth abnormalities such as Pierre Robin syndrome, cleft palate, or choanal atresia
  • Sinus polyps
  • History of thumb or finger sucking
  • Enlarged adenoids and tonsils
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Chronic colds
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Tongue-tie

Symptoms of Mouth Breathing

People who breathe through their mouths often have a slightly open-mouthed appearance. They also tend to be “noisy” eaters since mouth breathing is more difficult when eating. It’s also more challenging to determine if you’re a mouth breather, especially during sleep. The most common symptoms to look for include:

  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Brain fog
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Drool on pillows


Symptoms of mouth breathing  in children include
:

  • Irritability
  • Slow growth rate
  • Large tonsils
  • Cracked or dry lips
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Problems concentrating at school

Why Is Mouth Breathing a Dental Issue?

Mouth breathers are more likely to develop insomnia, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea. It also dries up the saliva, thus increasing the chances of developing dry mouth, bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay due to plaque and tartar accumulation.

Mouth breathing can lead to other dental problems like poor jaw positioning. This may cause a malocclusion, teeth grinding, an irregular bite, crooked teeth, facial deformities, and jaw pain. Other complications include:

  • Swallowing and speech problems
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids 
  • Worsening of asthma symptoms
  • Learning and behavioral problems

Nose vs. Mouth Breathing: Why Nose Breathing Is the Best

You might think that oxygen is oxygen, and it doesn’t matter how to breathe as long as you take enough air to get oxygen into your body. But this is not entirely true since both the mouth and nose process the air we breathe differently. Here are some reasons nose breathing is better than mouth breathing:

  • The nose filters out toxins and debris when you breathe via the small hair-like structures known as cilia. Mouth breathing, on the other hand, sends all the air you breathe into your lungs.
  • The nose cools or warms the air you breathe to deliver air with optimum temperature to your lungs. Mouth breathing cannot achieve this.
  • The body extracts more oxygen with nose breathing than mouth breathing.
  • The nose humidifies the air you breathe and can sense harmful substances. The mouth cannot effectively smell toxic substances in the air or food you eat.

How to Stop Mouth Breathing

The first step to preventing mouth breathing is by determining whether or not you’re a mouth breather, and identifying the root cause, after which you can seek treatment or take steps to avoid it. Tips for improving your mouth breathing condition or preventing it include:

  • Address nose dryness or nasal congestion immediately if you find that this is your primary cause of mouth breathing.
  • Use a saline mist during long cruises or flights.
  • Consciously practice nose breathing during the day to inculcate the habit.
  • Keep your home clean and allergen-free.
  • Install or change your air filter in your HVAC system to stop the spread of allergens.
  • Sleep on your back with your head above the rest of your body to promote nasal breathing.
  • Use allergy reliever medications, nasal decongestants, or saline mists and sprays.
  • Practice meditation or yoga to reduce anxiety and stress.

Top dental service provider in Graham, NC

Your Graham, NC, Dentist Can Help!

Preventing mouth breathing may not be as easy as a breeze. However, Dr. Rose in Graham, NC, can help! At Rose Family Dentistry, we can spot the symptoms of mouth breathing early, determine its root cause and stop it before it leads to a significant dental issue. We also offer several dental services that can help control mouth breathing and fix the dental problems it causes.

Schedule an appointment with us today to stop mouth breathing before it wreaks havoc on your dental health and overall wellbeing.

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