Mouth breathing is a health issue that can eventually cause sleep apnea and in children it can cause certain speech problems and improper facial growth. It should be taken very seriously because it can affect your child’s health and development.
What is Mouth Breathing?
It’s normal to breathe through your mouth during certain times like when you’re exercising or lifting something heavy. However, mouth breathing in this article refers to when you breathe through your mouth most of the time.
It starts when we can’t seem to get enough air through our noses, so the mouth will naturally take over. This can become a lifetime habit if not corrected early on.
What causes mouth breathing?
There are several reasons for mouth breathing including:
- Allergies or food sensitivities
- Having enlarged tonsils
- Having nasal congestion
- Having a respiratory infection
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
How does mouth breathing affect the body?
There are many ways that mouth breathing affects the body, including:
Mouth breathing will change the way your tongue will work and where it rests at in the mouth. It should naturally rest at the top of your mouth but when your mouth is open, it sets at the bottom. This will lead to underdeveloped oral musculature and can affect the way you speak, swallow, breath, and chew.
Facial Growth and Development:
Breathing through your mouth can change the way your face looks. This is especially prominent in children because they’re still developing. Children who mouth breathe can suffer from facial and dental developmental problems. These include having long, narrow faces, less defined cheekbones, small jaws, and weaker chins. It can also cause gummy smiles and teeth that are crooked.
Other Effects on the Body:
It can also cause headaches, gingivitis, sore throats, bad breath, increased risk of cavities, poor sleep, and digestive disturbances like gas and acid reflux.
The Teeth and Braces:
Mouthing breathing will also change the position of teeth and of your bite. When the mouth is open, the lips are weaker and there is no support for the teeth externally. This can cause issues with orthodontic treatment. You’ll have to spend extra time wearing braces, and there’s a chance that the results won’t be permanent.
What can be done to treat mouth breathing?
It’s not as simple as simply closing your mouth. The best way to fix mouth breathing is to fix the underlying problem. If your child has asthma, talk to his doctor about treatments, for example. Stay in touch with your dentist too. Keep up with appointments.