The Negative Effects of Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing is a serious and all too common problem these days. If you frequently find yourself breathing with your mouth open, or notice a family member doing so, then you need to take action immediately. This will help you avoid long term health problems as well as expensive trips to the dentist to fix all the problems that this habit can cause.
Why Do People Mouth Breathe?
Mouth breathing is a habit that often starts in childhood. Most mouth breathers pick up the habit because of a cold or allergies that make it too hard to breathe through the nose. Over time, it becomes normal to breathe through the mouth, even once the nose is clear. It can also be caused by problems with jaw alignment, which make it difficult to fully close the mouth. A deviated septum which makes nose breathing more difficult than usual can also cause the formation of this habit.
The Problem with Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing might seem like an insignificant issue, but the reality is that it can cause a lot of problems. When you’re a mouth breather, your breathing is faster and shallower then it should be. This means that you’re not taking in enough oxygen and results in a constant state of hyperventilation. Mouth breathing can also cause a number of other problems including the following:
Poor sleeping patterns.
General fatigue caused by poor sleep and oxygen deprivation.
Mouth breathing is particularly detrimental to your dental health. If your lips aren’t together, it puts your tongue in the wrong position and can push your teeth and your jaws out of alignment. This is especially important in childhood development, as it can result in a lifetime of serious dental problems as well as problems in how the face develops. That’s why it’s so important that you pay attention to this tell-tale sign of trouble and take steps to correct it as soon as possible.
The Benefits of Nasal Breathing
Nasal breathing is not only the most natural way to breathe, it also has a number of benefits for your overall health and for your oral health too. These include the following:
It filters the air and protects your tonsils and adenoids from impurities.
The air is warmed as it enters, which results in fewer sinus problems.
Nose breathing puts your tongue in the right position in your mouth, which puts pressure on the palate and helps your jaw develop properly.
It trains the body and the brain to keep the airways open during sleep, which can cut down on snoring and sleep apnoea.
It helps to keep your teeth straight.
How to Correct Mouth Breathing
If you or a family member has this habit, then you need to address it as soon as possible. Firstly, you need to make sure that there are no physical reasons for the mouth breathing. So to start with, make sure your nose is clear and make an appointment with your dentist. This will help you rule out physical causes of mouth breathing and then you can start looking at ways to break this bad habit. Some of the most effective solutions are:
Practice breathing through your nose during the day and stop yourself every time you revert back to mouth breathing.
Make sure you get regular exercise.
Braces or other orthodontic devices that help position the mouth and tongue correctly and encourage nose breathing.
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