Mouth breathing is an acquired habit that is usually not beneficial to oral health. In some instances, it is absolutely necessary that proper breathing habits be restored in order to correct a dental malocclusion.
Mouth breathing is a habit that is usually started in infancy due to chronic partial obstruction of the nasal passages. Allergies can cause mouth breathing habits, as well as enlarged tonsils and adenoidal tissues. Sometimes, nasal polyps can result from chronic allergies which cause obstruction of the nasal passages. An examination by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician can best define problems arising from obstruction of the nasal passages.
Sometimes, a mouth breathing habit can be a pattern resulting from occasional obstruction of the nasal passages. In this instance there is nothing wrong with the nose, but the person has become accustomed to breathing through the mouth for convenience.
Regardless of the cause, chronic mouth breathing causes drying out of the gum tissues of the mouth and subsequent invasion of the gums by bacteria and viruses that commonly live in the oral cavity. This condition can readily lead to gum disease and degeneration of the bone surrounding surrounding the roots of the teeth. As the bone recedes around the roots of the teeth, the teeth become loose and will eventually be lost.
Mouth breathing also causes airborne bacteria, viruses, pollen, and dust to be directly inhaled into the lungs. The natural filtering action of the nasal passages is lost, and the person is prone to upper respiratory infections.
Mouth breathing can also be associated with tongue thrusting, which can cause undesirable movement of the teeth before and after orthodontic treatment. The tongue remains depressed near the throat to allow the passage of air into the lungs, and tongue thrust results from the abnormal tongue posture. Constriction of the upper dental arch can result from abnormal tongue posture, resulting in dental cross bite.
For all these reasons, it is in the best interest of oral health to correct mouth breathing problems as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about how orthodontics can help with mouth breathing induced issues, please call us! You can call our 23rd St office at 405-949-0123, our South OKC office at 405-691-1123, or our Yukon office at 405-350-1133.
We know you have a choice when choosing a dentist or orthodontist in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Moore, Yukon, Norman, Tulsa, Dallas, Edmond, Highland Village, and Phoenix and we thank you for making Dental Depot your partner in good oral health!