Knoxville and Maryville, TN
Chronic mouth breathing has been known to cause adverse effects on a child’s facial development, behavior, health, and academic performance. Occasional mouth breathing is typically fine, but chronic mouth breathing is a problem, and here is what you should know about it, and how to fix it.
The harm with chronic mouth breathing
Mouth breathing adversely affects your child’s facial development. In fact, it can completely change the look of your child’s face, also causes crooked teeth or a recessive chin. Mouth breathing can cause an obstructed airway, meaning your child is not sleeping well at night, and may even suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Many children who are chronic mouth breathers are misdiagnosed as having attention deficit disorders (or hyperactivity) when the real problem is their airway – they are not getting enough air. With mouth breathing, early intervention is key to avoiding developmental and health issues, as well as social problems down the road.
If left untreated, mouth breathing can lead to:
- Long/narrow facial development
- Narrow mouth
- Dental malocclusion (uneven bite)
- High palatal vaults
- Gummy smile
- Unattractive facial features
- Chronic fatigue
- Hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD in children)
Health effects of mouth breathing
When breathing through the mouth, the body is not receiving the proper amounts of oxygen, meaning it robs the body of a necessary nutrient. Low oxygen levels have been linked to cardiac failures and high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that mouth breathing is linked to sleep disorders. Nasal breathing is the most efficient way to deliver the proper amounts of oxygen to the body.
Not to mention, mouth breathing dries out the mouth, which means the teeth are more vulnerable to tooth decay. Plus, when the mouth hangs open all of the time, the upper and lower jaws do not form correctly, which may result in a narrow upper arch, crooked teeth, and a severe overbite.
Diagnosing mouth breathing disorders
Your Maryville dentist plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating the issue of mouth breathing. It is important to screen for chronic mouth breathing and airway obstruction disorders for patients of all ages, but especially in children. Early treatment of airway obstruction or mouth breathing issues helps facilitate proper facial skeletal growth and airway development for your child.
Treating mouth breathing
Myofunctional therapy is an ideal method of correcting mouth breathing and facilitating breathing through the nose. Myofunctional therapy consists of a series of exercises that retrain the mouth and tongue on how to rest, and function properly. If caught early, myofunctional therapy can have a profound effect on changing breathing habits. This form of therapy is only prescribed by a certified myofunctional therapist such as the one on staff at your Maryville family dental office, Crestview Dental Care. Restorative or orthodontic treatments may still be necessary to correct the misalignment of the teeth and jaws.
To schedule a consultation, please contact Crestview Dental Care at (865) 982-1700 today. We welcome patients of Knoxville and Maryville Tennessee.