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  • Writer's pictureGeorgetown Smile

How Mouth Breathing Affects Your Oral Health

As humans, we are obligate nasal breathers. However, mouth breathing has become the norm. Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air and filters contaminants. Mouth breathing can significantly affect your saliva production. When you breathe through your nose, your sinuses add moisture to the air you inhale. Dry mouth increases the acidity in your mouth, putting you at a greater risk of developing tooth decay. If your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, then there is nothing to wash away the harmful mouth bacteria which can lead to gum disease. If caught early, your dentist can provide an effective at-home oral hygiene routine. However, if you don’t take care of the early symptoms of gum disease, then it can develop into periodontitis. This can cause a plethora of health problems such as diabetes, stroke, and respiratory issues.

Mouth breathing can lead to a combination of obstruction and habituation which can both lead to skeletal and muscle facial imbalances. The cause of mouth breathing can be credited to deviated septum, small jaw, enlarged tonsils, sleep apnea, and so on. In children, mouth breathing has shown to be correlated with sleepiness during the day which can heavily affect learning disabilities. Furthermore, rhinitis, maternal smoking, and positive allergic skin tests were significantly associated with nightly snoring and mouth breathing. Not only that, but mouth breathing in children has shown an increase in hypertrophic tonsils, excessive overbites, excessive day time sleepiness, snoring, and so on. In regards to your teeth, mouth breathing can affect a plethora of things. For instance, mouth breathing can lead to frequent cavities, crowded teeth, and so on.

If you are experiencing negative side effects of mouth breathing then it is in your best interest to book an appointment with your dentist to figure out the best course of action. Long-term mouth breathing can have adverse effects on your oral health.

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