Dental Care

What Are The Negative Effects Of Mouth Breathing?

We’ve all done it. We get sick and with that comes a stuffy nose that makes it difficult to breathe. So the solution for most of us is to breathe through the mouth just to get that sweet life-supporting oxygen. It’s not even a choice as much as a reflex action, we don’t even realize we’re doing it half the time.

Yet there are some people out there who do this all the time. They’ve decided to breathe through their mouths instead of doing so through the nose and while taking this approach to breathing during cold and flu season is acceptable, adopting this habit as the primary means of taking in oxygen can be harmful.

For many, it’s a habit that starts during childhood and more than likely due to having a pretty bad head cold. The sinuses are clogged, nose sprays and medicated rubs aren’t quite getting the job done, so the mouth is the way to go. However, there can be some ongoing, underlying issues that drive a child to continue using their mouth in order to breathe.

Causes of Mouth Breathing

There could be any number of possibilities to suggest why a child (or an adult) might resort to breathing by way of the mouth. For some, it’s a bite alignment issue which can contribute to the difficulties that come with just keeping the mouth shut. Continuous allergies, a deviated septum, even oversized or swollen tonsils can all play a role in promoting the need for mouth breathing.

Many of these problems can be corrected with surgery and such an alternative should be explored in order to prevent mouth breathing.

Negative Effects

There are many, some more damaging than others. For starters, it can lead to dry mouth which puts your mouth in danger of increases in oral bacteria and germs. This will likely result in tooth decay and persistent bad breath. With symptoms such as these, it will become important to find a dentist who can combat these issues. Midlothian Family Dentistry knows how to help patients who are dealing with mouth breathing problems.

Mouth breathing can also have a permanent impact on the structure of your facial features as the bones in your face might start to grow in ways that were originally unintended. This may result in flatter facial features, dropping eyes, a narrow jaw, a narrow arch, small chin, significant deformities that can reshape the facial structure.

For these issues, orthodontic treatment may be required to correct incorrect bone development. A narrow arch could mean adult teeth can grow in crowded and without sufficient room to develop properly, which will need to be corrected.

Sleep apnea is another side-effect that can come from mouth breathing. This will make it hard to get a good night’s sleep and that can have long-term health impacts due to fatigue and a lack of rest. Mouth breathing has many negative effects, all of which should be avoided at all costs. Take steps now to prevent this from becoming habit.