Have you noticed that you tend to breathe through your mouth? Ideally, you should breathe through your nose rather than your mouth, especially if you want to preserve your oral health.
An occasional stuffy nose may block your nasal passage, leading you to need to breathe through your mouth. But mouth breathing on a chronic basis, including in your sleep, could harm your teeth and your gums over time.
Understanding the impact that this breathing method can have on your dental health can motivate you to address this habit. So read on to learn more about the impact of mouth breathing on the look and health of your smile.
Oral Health Dangers from Chronic Mouth Breathing
Many children might form a habit of breathing through their mouths. But mouth breathing in pediatric dental patients can play a major role in the development of their teeth, jaw, and face shape.
Their teeth might grow in crooked positions, and the jaw might become narrow. Alignment or crowding issues could make oral hygiene more difficult. And as a result, these patients might face greater risks of cavities and other dental problems.
Adult dental patients may face additional oral health complications if they breathe through their mouths. Mouth breathing exposes the oral environment to dry air which will in turn dry out the mouth. Dry mouth allows oral bacteria to spread more easily, increasing the danger of oral infections like gum disease.
You might see a puffy appearance in the gums if you tend to breathe through your mouth, which is a sign of excess bacteria irritating and inflaming the gum tissue. As gum disease progresses, you can notice bleeding and soreness in the gums, receding gum tissue, bad breath, and tooth loss.
You will need professional periodontal therapy to treat gum disease because the infection will not go away on its own. So you should try preventative efforts to avoid contracting it, which includes eliminating risk factors, like dry mouth and mouth breathing that may cause that condition.
Tips to Stop Breathing Through Your Mouth
If you suspect that you breathe through your mouth, pay attention to your breathing habits and make a conscious effort to breathe through your nose. Some medical factors, including sinus problems and allergies, may make breathing through your nose difficult. Coordinate with a doctor to address these underlying factors, stop mouth breathing, and protect your smile.
Sometimes, you might tend to breathe through your mouth due to dental problems like overcrowding or misalignment. Consult with your dentist to learn if dental treatment, like straightening your teeth, can help you stop a mouth-breathing habit.
If you breathe through your mouth as you sleep, it can be difficult to avoid this habit since you are not conscious enough to stop it. Make sure that you floss before bedtime to maximize oral cleanliness and reduce bacterial spread as you sleep. Find more preventative oral health care when you speak to your dentist.