Treating Mouth Breathing

Knoxville and Maryville, TN

What is the Big Deal with Mouth Breathing?

Mouth breathing can completely alter how your child looks which is the skeletal development of a child, and completely disrupts airway development which affects the amount of oxygen the body requires for proper function. We know that mouth breathing  affects the resting position of the facial and tongue muscles, often mouth breathers experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms from early development to later in life consequences. Sadly, failure to nasal breath affects your overall health. Mouth breathing affects the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide that are in the body. Our bodies rely on a specific amount of incoming oxygen and outgoing carbon dioxide to remain in a healthy state.

Breaking Your Mouth Breathing Habit:

How often do you think about how you breathe? Unless you deal with a chronic condition like asthma, or you’re battling a cold or congestion, chances are you never think about this involuntary yet crucial act. The reality is, how you breathe can play a major role in your overall health—especially if you breathe regularly through the mouth.

You may frequently mouth breathe and never realize it—and if so, you’re not alone. Studies estimate that 80 percent of the Western world practices incorrect breathing through the mouth. This method of breathing is also known as “over breathing,” which occurs when an individual is inhaling and exhaling a surplus of air. Mouth breathing is a form of over breathing that leads to a greater intake of air than is needed, and makes the breathing process more inefficient as a whole. Breathing through the mouth leads the airways to become dry and constrict. As a result, an insufficient amount of oxygen is absorbed by the alveoli, the pathways for oxygen and carbon dioxide to enter the bloodstream.

Why Should you Breathe Through the Nose?

 It may seem like a contradiction at first, but shallower breathing that occurs through the nose is both more efficient and better for your overall health. This concept probably makes more sense when taking into account our prior examination of mouth breathing, but let’s examine this a bit further.

 The air that comes in when inhaled through the nose is warmer and moister compared to when you mouth breathe. The extra warmth and moisture combine with nitric oxide, killing bacteria and dilating blood vessels in the airways, arteries, and capillaries. This dilating process, known as vasodilation, helps to regulate blood pressure while also increasing the surface area of the alveoli, which means the bloodstream absorbs a greater quantity of oxygen.

Nasal breathing also encourages production of nitric oxide, helping to increase the oxygen capacity of the lungs by as much as 15 percent. And, while keeping blood pressure low and regular, nasal breathing fosters a stronger connection between the heart and lungs via the nervous system. Nasal breathing balances the heart rate as well and encourages a person to have diminished biological responses in stressful situations.

Treatment for Mouth Breathing:

“Mouth Taping” is considered one of the go-to ways to alleviate mouth breathing. This treatment is known as both the French method and the Buteyko method and involves placing a very small piece of tape over the mouth at night, thus re-training the body to breathe through the nose during sleep. Crestview Dental Care recommends 3M micropore tape or Nexcare first aide clear tape for comfort.

“Mouth Taping” is successful, but far from foolproof. Its success rate can be weakened by environmental conditions such as keeping your sleep area too warm, pets in the bedroom or having too much dust in the bedroom—whether it be on clothes, bedding, or carpet.Often times patients build up to a nighttime routine by simply placing a small piece of tape on the mouth while watching tv, playing a video game, working on the computer or even during the daytime routine at home.

Treating Children who Mouth Breathe: 

As we all know, it’s imperative to your children’s health to stop bad habits immediately when you see them begin, so parents can help their children avoid the pitfalls of mouth breathing by encouraging them to breathe with their lips and teeth together, and placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth. If your child has allergies or difficulty breathing through their nose oftentimes we will refer you to see our Ear, Nose and Throat (E.N.T) specialist that will collaborate with us in determining the treatment plan that is right for your child.

Other aids against mouth breathing for children can be found in your local produce section. Feed your children raw and crunchy foods (avoid the soft diet), which exercises the jaw and helps it strengthen and develop while also helping develop wider airways and diminishing the chance of a narrow nasal passages—which can be a leading cause of snoring, sleep breathing disorders and even jaw development development issues such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).

Mouth Breathing can Leads to:

  • Poor facial development (weak and tired look all the time)
  • Crooked teeth/crowded teeth
  • Recessive chin (short face and chin is sitting way back),
  • Long Face Syndrome (long forehead, skinny nose an flaccid lip)
  • Chronic fatigue (tired all the time, dark circles under he eyes)
  • ADHD/ADD in adults or children
  • Tongue thrust,
  • Difficulties chewing and swallowing

…….And that is just the beginning of the things!

 Appliance Therapy for Mouth Breathing:

 “Mouth Taping” is intended only as a training tool regain nasal breathing which is the starting point to gaining a proper oral and nasal function by placing the lips together, teeth together and tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth. Other therapies that may be used in conjunction or following nasal breathing training may be:

  • Oral appliance therapy (for sleep/TMD disorder)
  • Myofunctional therapy (tongue, habits and mouth muscle therapy)
  • Interceptive orthodontic appliances (intercede poor jaw development)
  • Frenum release (tongue/lip tie release)

At Crestview Dental Care serving Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee we not only screen for mouth breathing, but we also offer a wide variety of treatment therapies that are holistic and natural alternatives to care your your entire family’s oral and overall health care. Please contact Crestview Dental Care today!