mouth breathing

What is Mouth Breathing and Why It is Bad

You may think that breathing through your mouth is inconsequential, but in reality, it can have some pretty unpleasant health problems. Yes, it is perfectly normal to breathe through your mouth during certain times–such as while you’re exercising or lifting heavy loads–but if you find yourself breathing through your mouth the majority of the day, you should consult a professional Orofacial Myologist for treatment.

What Causes Mouth Breathing?

The most common causes include:

  • Allergies or food sensitivities
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Respiratory infection
  • Asthma
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps

Each of these things will cause swelling or blockage in the nose that will make it physically impossible for a person to breathe through their nose, therefore forcing the body to breathe through the mouth.

What Does Mouth Breathing Cause?

Mouth breathing can affect many different parts of the body and the body’s development including:

The Tongue: When you breathe normally, your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth. This is a healthy position. If you are a mouth breather, your tongue will rest on the bottom of your mouth and can cause your oral musculature to be underdeveloped. This will cause speech, swallowing, breathing, and chewing problems. It can also cause tongue thrust.

Facial Growth and Development: Breathing through your mouth can change the shape of your face and your overall facial appearance. This is why it is especially important to catch mouth breathing early in children as their faces are still growing and highly susceptible to change.

Other Effects:

  • Headaches
  • Gingivitis and gum disease
  • Sore throat and cold symptoms
  • Bad breath
  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Poor sleep (leading to chronic fatigue)
  • Digestive disturbances like gas, upset stomach, acid reflux, etc.
  • Shifting of teeth and bite (leading to braces)

Treatment for mouth breathing can be difficult as the solution to this habit is not just to “close your mouth”. It takes time and patience to correct these types of actions. If you are a mouth breather, the best treatment is through an Orofacial Myologist, like Pina Mazza! Pina, from Maple Dental Hygiene Care, is a professional in the field of Orofacial Myology and can help you retrain your muscles to help you stop breathing through your mouth. Contact Maple Dental Hygiene Care today to book an appointment.


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