Our bodies naturally breathe through the nose. While it is quite possible to breathe through our mouths it is not optimal, and mouth breathing has been linked to many health problems, both major and minor. Mouth breathing in children can compromise proper development.
Mouth breathing may occur because an individual cannot breathe well through their nose. This might be because of enlarged tonsils, nasal polyps, any of several disruptions to the airways, or because of a chronic allergy.
Children who habitually mouth breathe can compromise their lower jaw and dental development; they hold their tongue in the wrong place and keep their jaw open, leading them to form longer faces and misaligned teeth. Mouth breathing causes some facial muscles to develop at the expense of others.
Nasal breathing nose is necessary for the production of Nitric oxide, something required for appropriate childhood growth, oxygen levels, blood pressure, cognitive functioning and general wellbeing. Mouth breathers will compromise all these areas of their life.
Significantly for teeth, breathing through the mouth causes the teeth to dry out. This lack of saliva, as well as being uncomfortable, significantly increases problems with decay.
Even if the cause of the mouth breathing is treated individuals may find they continue their habit of breathing through their mouth. Retraining may be required.
It is best to address breathing problems while an individual is still young, lest the breathing issues affect their development. If you notice a dry mouth, night-time snoring or simply become aware of mouth breathing, then talk to your Shine Newington dentist about any concerns.