After a long winter, spring can literally be a breath of fresh air. However, for some, spring may mean going through countless tissue boxes. Seasonal allergies can mean lots of sneezing, and a lot of congestion, which is usually coupled with “mouth breathing.” While this may seem harmless, a clinical study published in General Dentistry pointed out that there can also be oral health repercussions to mouth breathing.
Mouth breathing, also known as upper airway obstruction, has been shown to cause abnormal facial and dental development, including long, narrow faces and mouths, and gummy smiles. Mouth breathing can lead to lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is essential for the reduction of acid and bacteria in the mouth, which causes individuals who lack saliva to end up with gingivitis. Crooked teeth can also be caused by an upper airway obstruction due to poor position of the tongue. Mouth breathers tend to rest their tongue on the roof of their mouths, causing cheek, muscles to relax and rest on the upper teeth. This causes the upper jaw to become more narrow leading to crooked teeth down the line. This condition can lead to poor sleeping habits, and can lead to poor oxygen concentration in the blood stream, resulting in possible high blood pressure-related conditions. Children who suffer from mouth breathing usually do not get enough rest, leading to tiredness throughout the day and lack of concentration on academics.
But no fear! There are possible treatments for mouth breathing, and it is very beneficial to discover this condition early on. A dentist is able to look for mouth breathing symptoms, including dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, bad breath, snoring and daytime fatigue. Swollen tonsils are also known to be a prominent symptom of this disease. If there is the presence of inflamed tonsils, they can be surgically removed by an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist. If one has narrow face and mouth, dentists are able to use expansion appliances to aid in the widening of sinuses and the opening of nasal airway passages. After surgery and orthodontic treatment, patients have been shown to improve in behavior, energy level, academic performance, and peer acceptance.
If you believe that you are a mouth breather, be sure to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.