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How Mouth Breathing Affects Dental Health

Breathing out of your mouth may not seem like a huge problem but in terms of oral health and facial development in children, mouth breathing can create some concerns.

Breathing out of the mouth is sometimes caused by chronic nasal obstruction. When your body can’t get enough oxygen by breathing through your nose, it automatically resorts the only other thing i.e. your mouth that can supply your body with the oxygen it needs.

Mouth breathing may lead to some serious oral health concerns. Breathing through your mouth can cause your face to grow downward instead of forward. It can create long, narrow mouths and faces, smiles that are gummier than normal, gingivitis, crooked teeth and dental caries.

Facial changes caused by mouth breathing lead to constricted breathing passages that in turn may lead to snoring and sleep apnea.

Breathing out of your mouth can dry out the mouth and decrease saliva production.

Saliva is extremely important for keeping the mouth’s acidity under control and helping to wash away harmful bacteria as well as debris from the foods and drinks we consume.

Saliva plays an important role in helping maintain good oral health and helps prevent tooth decay. When not enough saliva is produced, your chance of tooth decay and other dangerous problems increases.

Breathing through your mouth dries out your teeth as lack of saliva can lead to increased acidity and increased tooth decay. This makes it harder for saliva to fight off bacteria that slowly demineralizes the tooth surface.

A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath and other serious concerns. Dry mouth is one of the causes of gum disease, a dangerous oral health problem that can create health issues throughout your body including stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.

The dry environment in your mouth, and a lack of air filtration, can also cause enlarged and inflamed tonsils and adenoids, and an increase in infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Dentists in Delhi understand the problems associated with mouth breathing and can help prevent the adverse effects.

Many mouth breathers don’t even realize they are doing it until serious issues develop. Some common signs and symptoms of being a mouth breather include:

  • Dry lips
  • Crowded teeth
  • Snoring and open mouth while sleeping
  • Increased number of airway infections including sinus, ear, colds
  • Chronic bad breath
  • A high number of colds, or sinus and ear infections

Since humans are designed to breathe through their noses, when they try to breathe out of their mouths, their posture has to change in order to keep the airway open. This may cause abnormal facial and dental developmental problems.

However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, the face can begin to develop into a long and narrow shape, the nose can become flat and the nostrils small, and short upper lip and pouty lower lip. Breathing out of your mouth may also lead to crooked teeth, gummy smiles, gingivitis and crooked teeth.

Due to the impact that mouth breathing has on facial and dental development it is important that your child be seen for an orthodontic evaluation no later than the age of 17.

If you breathe through your mouth, you are bypassing your body’s natural filtration system.

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.

Treatment for mouth breathing can be beneficial for children if the condition is caught early.

If tonsils and/or adenoids are swollen, they should be surgically removed. If the face and mouth are narrow, dentists can use expansion appliances to help widen the sinuses and open nasal airway passages.

Since up to 90% of facial development is concluded by early adolescence However, adults may also be helped with an expansion appliance.

Dentist dental clinics in Delhi are providing custom made habit breaking appliances for children with such habits.

Another easy-to-determine factor that causes a person to breathe through the mouth is lip patency. If the lips don’t close, people breathe through their mouths.

Common causes of obstructed nasal breathing include allergic rhinitis, deviated septum, tonsils and adenoids.

It is important to note that addressing these causes of obstructed nasal breathing does not automatically convert a child to nasal breathing. Mouth breathing is a habit that may take some professional assistance to break.

Dentists in India help their patients to fix the problem and take the necessary steps to stop it and correct issues associated with it.

A proper supervision done by the dentists in dental clinics in India is the proper way to go about the treatment.


Posted by- Dr Shriya