Mouth breathing is a clear indication that the person’s breathing and swallowing are not proper. It can cause several short-term and long-term health conditions, such as incorrect development of a person’s facial structures leading to severe cosmetic issues that may negatively affect a person's confidence and quality of life. This article discusses more about the details of mouth breathing effects on teeth.
What Causes Mouth Breathing?
Mouth breathing prevents the tongue from resting in the correct position in a person’s mouth. This is a severe issue because the tongue is one of the major muscles of the human body that plays an essential part in making sure a person’s face grows correctly if the tongue is correctly positioned inside the person’s mouth.
If a person's tongue is not correctly positioned, then their teeth can become crowded, or they might suffer from major health and aesthetic issues later in life.
Mouth breathing usually starts at a young age due to several reasons, such as using bottles and pacifiers and habits like thumb sucking. Various food and environmental allergies can also cause nasal congestion at a young age, contributing to incorrect breathing patterns. What starts as an infant’s habit may turn into a major health issue before you know it.
How Can Mouth Breathing Affect Your Health?
A major risk associated with mouth breathing is that a person does not receive the natural filtering it does if they are breathing through their nose. This allows viruses, bacteria, and other fungal organisms to enter a person's tongue, teeth, and tonsils, thus eventually leading to an increased risk of periodontitis (gum disease), gingivitis, and even cavities.
What is even more shocking is that the bacteria and fungus can attack the person’s tonsils and cause them to swell and obstruct their airway. Down the road, this leads to a medical condition called sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder in which breathing gets interrupted repeatedly when you sleep, making it difficult for you to get a night of restful sleep and deprives your body of replenishing its essential oxygen supply.
Such chronic lack of oxygen can lead to many chronic health conditions in adults, such as strokes, cardiovascular disease, infertility, cancers, and premature aging. It can also lead to other severe medical conditions such as behavioral issues and incorrect growth patterns in children.
Although a small habit, mouth breathing can become a severe problem in the future. Be sure to maintain your oral hygiene, follow a routine of brushing and flossing your teeth, and stay hydrated to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. If you find yourself mouth breathing, it might indicate an allergy or polyps obstructing your nasal passages, making it harder to breathe from your nose. Contact an ear, nose, and throat specialist or talk to your doctor about your problem.
If you would like to learn more about mouth breathing and its treatment options, get in touch with us. We would be happy to answer all your questions regarding mouth breathing and your overall oral health.