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The Hidden Dangers of Mouth Breathing

man-sleeping-soundly-sqAre you a mouth breather? If you are, you may experience dry mouth, bad breath, or an itchy nose or have been told you snore. Mouth breathing may seem harmless, but this habit can negatively impact your health. It’s important to understand the risks associated with mouth breathing and recognise there are things you can do to address them.

Why Is Nasal Breathing Important?

There’s a reason why nasal breathing is the body’s default mode. Our noses filter, sterilise, and control the air’s volume, temperature and humidity. This process ensures that the air reaching our lungs is clean and conducive to optimal gas exchange. In contrast, mouth breathing bypasses these natural defences, exposing our lungs to unfiltered, polluted air.

This increases the risk of respiratory infections and disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bodies, leading to many health issues.

The Impact on Health

Mouth breathing can have several adverse effects on our health. People who breathe through their mouths have an increased likelihood of respiratory diseases because of inhaling unfiltered air. This habit can also disturb the body’s acid-alkaline balance, which is necessary for the functioning of smooth muscles.

These muscles, which are found in our digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems, can spasm when this balance is off. The result: various health problems can crop up, including digestive system issues, circulatory system problems, and more frequent ear and nose infections.

Malocclusion and Facial Development

One of the most significant concerns with mouth breathing, especially in children, is its impact on dental health and facial growth. Nasal breathing promotes proper tongue posture and stimulates the growth of the palate. This, in turn, ensures normal development of the upper jaw and proper alignment of teeth. Mouth breathing, however, can lead to malocclusion, crowded teeth, and even affect the overall growth of the face, potentially resulting in long-term dental issues and facial asymmetry.

Correcting Mouth Breathing

Identifying the root cause of mouth breathing is essential. Common causes include allergies, food intolerances, enlarged tonsils, tongue-tie or structural issues like a deviated septum. Addressing these underlying issues can help restore normal nasal breathing and lessen the risks associated with mouth breathing.

Breathe Better, Live Better

If you or your children are habitual mouth breathers, contact Excellence in Dentistry today. Early intervention can prevent the long-term consequences of mouth breathing, ensuring better health, optimal facial development, and improved quality of life.


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