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Do you struggle with breathing through your nose? Is your mouth dry when you wake up? Do you have chapped Dried lips? We can Help!
Breathing provides your body with the oxygen it needs to survive. It also allows you to release carbon dioxide and waste.
Even so, breathing through the mouth all the time, including when you’re sleeping, can lead to problems.
In children, mouth breathing can cause crooked teeth, facial deformities, or poor growth. In adults, chronic mouth breathing can cause bad breath and gum disease. It can also worsen symptoms of other illnesses.
Advantages of nose breathing
- The nose acts as a filter and retains small particles in the air, including pollen.
- The nose adds moisture to the air to prevent dryness in the lungs and bronchial tubes.
- The nose warms up cold air to body temperature before it gets to your lungs.
- Nose breathing adds resistance to the air stream. This increases oxygen uptake by maintaining the lungs’ elasticity.
- Stimulation of Nitric Oxide production. Nitric Oxide increases the ability to transport oxygen throughout your body by dilating blood vessels. Nitric oxide is also antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial. It helps the immune system to fight infections.
How to find out if you are breathing through your mouth?
You may not realize that you’re breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, especially during sleep. Here are some of the symptoms related to mouth breathing:
- dry mouth
- bad breath (halitosis)
- waking up tired and irritable
- chronic fatigue
- brain fog
- dark circles under the eyes
Symptoms in children
For parents, it’s important to look for signs of mouth breathing in their children.
A child may not be able to communicate their symptoms. Like adults, children who are mouth breathers will breathe with their mouth open and will snore at night. Children who breathe through their mouths for most of the day may also have the following symptoms:
- slower than normal growth rate
- increased crying episodes at night
- large tonsils
- dry, cracked lips
- problems concentrating at school
- daytime sleepiness
Children who exhibit problems concentrating at school are often misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or hyperactivity.
What causes mouth breathing?
The underlying cause of most cases of mouth breathing is an obstructed (completely blocked or partially blocked) nasal airway.
In other words, there’s something preventing the smooth passage of air into the nose. If your nose is blocked, the body automatically resorts to the only other source that can provide oxygen — your mouth.
There are many causes of a blocked nose. These include:
- nasal congestion caused by allergies, a cold, or a sinus infection
- enlarged adenoids
- enlarged tonsils
- deviated septum
- nasal polyps, or benign growths of tissue in the lining of your nose
- enlarged turbinates
- the shape of the nose
- the shape and size of the jaw
- tumors (rare)
Some people develop a habit of breathing through their mouth instead of their nose even after the nasal obstruction clears. For some people with sleep apnea, it may become a habit to sleep with their mouth open to accommodate their need for oxygen.
Stress and anxiety can also cause a person to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system leading to shallow, rapid, and abnormal breathing.
Here at Dental excellence Integrative Center during our comprehensive visit we will diagnose mouth breathing if you have bad breath, frequent cavities, inflamed oropharyngeal tissue, or gum disease.
In children, mouth breathing can lead to physical abnormalities and cognitive challenges. Children who aren’t treated for mouth breathing can develop:
- long, narrow faces
- narrow mouths
- gummy smiles
- dental malocclusion, including a large overbite and crowded teeth
- poor posture
Additionally, children who breathe through their mouths often don’t sleep well at night. Poor sleep can lead to:
- poor growth
- poor academic performance
- inability to concentrate
- sleep disorders