Are you a mouth breather? In other words, do you regularly breathe through an open mouth instead of your nose during the day and/or while you sleep? While mouth breathing may seem harmless, it can pose a risk to your oral health if you aren’t careful. In fact, mouth breathing in children can create concerns in facial development. Detecting and correcting the condition at a young age is advised.
What Causes Mouth Breathing?
The way you breathe can simply be a force of habit. However, mouth breathing can also be attributed to chronically clogged nasal passages or frequent sinus/ear infections. Crowded teeth, however, are also a contributing factor in mouth breathing.
Signs You Breathe Through Your Mouth
If you primarily rely on an open mouth for air instead of your nostrils, there are signs and symptoms that can point to your habit, including the following:
- Dry lips
- Snoring while sleeping
- Chronic bad breath
How Can Mouth Breathing Threaten Your Oral Health?
The main concern with mouth breathing as it pertains to your dental health is dry mouth. When your mouth persistently stays open, it tends to dry out. Your teeth and gums rely on saliva to make it easy to talk and swallow as well as rinse away bacteria and neutralize acids. Therefore, a chronic dry mouth (xerostemia) can contribute to dental problems such as bad breath, decay and gum disease.
To avoid the consequences of mouth breathing, it is important to recognize the habit and address the root cause. At Gilreath Dental Associates, we look for signs of mouth breathing at routine dental visits. If breathing through your mouth is not something you can control, we can offer dry mouth treatments and schedule checkups more frequently to monitor your oral health. If you have a mouth breather in your family, you can trust our Marietta dentist for help!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,