Did you know that the proper way to breathe is through your nose? But if you suffer a blockage in the nasal passage, such as a stuffy nose during an illness, you may find it necessary to breathe through your mouth. However, mouth breathing on a regular basis can lead to major problems with your oral health.
Children may develop a bad habit of breathing through their mouths, and some people carry this behavior into adulthood. Some other people may sleep with their mouths open, not aware of their breathing habits. Regardless, this continued breathing method could hurt your teeth and gums over time.
Knowing more about the impact of mouth breathing can encourage you to address this habit. So read on to learn about the risks of continued mouth breathing as well as how a dentist can help you stop doing this.
Oral Health Risks from Breathing Through the Mouth
Mouth breathing in children can affect the development of the face shape, teeth, and jaw. The teeth can grow crooked, and the jaw might become narrow and small. These alignment concerns can lead to struggles with oral hygiene, which may put these patients at risk of cavities and other dental concerns on a long-term basis.
Adult dental patients who breathe through their mouths will notice a higher risk of dry mouth. This is because exposing their mouths to the open air will make the oral environment dry. As a result, natural oral bacteria can travel and spread with greater ease, heightening the risk of gum disease and other infections.
They may notice a puffy appearance in their gums during the early stages of this periodontal infection. But as gum disease progresses, these patients can experience bad breath, gum recession, and even tooth loss.
They will need intervention from a dentist to get rid of the infection, so dentists promote preventative care when it comes to periodontal health. This means addressing risk factors like mouth breathing that can endanger the gums this way.
How to Address Chronic Mouth Breathing Habits
Pay attention to your breathing habits to note if you have a tendency to breathe through your mouth. If you do, make a conscious effort to breathe through your nose regularly to avoid harming your oral health.
However, many underlying medical issues, such as allergies or sinus problems, could make it difficult to breathe through your nose. You may need to consult with a doctor to resolve a mouth-breathing habit.
Certain dental issues, like overcrowding or dental misalignment, may cause someone to breathe through their mouth. Visit a dentist to learn more about dental concerns that contribute to this harmful habit. They can find ways to straighten your smile and improve your breathing.
If you breathe through your mouth at night, it can be hard to stop the habit if you are not conscious to do so. Make sure you floss before bedtime to maximize oral cleanliness and reduce bacterial spread during sleep. Find more tips to stop breathing through your mouth when you talk to your dentist.